Peasants and Attempts of Armed Resistance to the Military Dictatorship in Brazil

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 15:00
Oral Presentation
Fabricio TELO, Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro and Federal Fluminense University, Brazil
Between 1964 and 1985, Brazil experienced a period of dictatorship marked by repression of social movements and the working class. As René Dreifuss points out, one of the central themes of the public debate in the years before the coup was the agrarian question. Several peasant organizations demanded a more equitable distribution of land, and the large landowners contributed in the articulations for the deposition of the president João Goulart. With the dictatorship, in the countryside, thousands of families were violently expelled from the lands they occupied, several farms expropriated in previous years were returned to their former owners, many leaders were arrested, killed or forced to flee. In this context, fear was a very present feeling in people's lives, especially in subaltern groups. Despite this, various initiatives of resistance have taken place, from the scope of trade unionism to the armed struggle. In this work, we propose to analyze some attempts to form rural guerrilla groups based on an approach made by militants of armed organizations with peasants, with a specific focus on the way the emotional dimension has interfered in the processes of engagement, disengagement and not -engagement of peasants in these processes. As Daniel Cefaï affirms, one of the most important aspects for understanding collective actions are the emotions, especially those that create the indignation necessary to be involved in the initiatives of resistance. For this work, we focused on a specific case in the municipality of Cachoeiras de Macacu, in the State of Rio de Janeiro, where the National Liberation Command (Colina) began the formation of a peasants group for guerrilla training. The methodology used in the research was the oral history based on interviews with survivors of the period, as well as queries to the archives of the political police.