Talk:Landless Workers' Movement

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Former good article nominee Landless Workers' Movement was a Social sciences and society good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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POV and cleanup + reorganize nomination[edit]

I've tagged the article with disputed neutrality because the overall article has serious problems concerning cherry picking either in both sides (pro X con). The mere fact the article is listed under an "human rights" issue is disputable, as some of the movement's practices (like stealth organization and lack of institutional statutes and organizations to avoid law enforcement) resemble as much as a criminal gang as a "social action group".

The entire article ended up being a piece where supportive editors pushed law interpretations that are, at best, borderline with mainstream Brazilian jurisprudence, and not-supportive editors picked isolated facts to denigrate the movement. The result is a fractured article, one that needs major rewriting and reorganization, including more data and different views on the legality/criminality of its existence and modus operandi. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Europegrad (talkcontribs) 05:20, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Some of members of MST have certainly been charged with criminal acts and that is mentioned several times in this article already (in fact, it is mentioned far more than the repression of MST which I believe is undue weight). That they resemble a gang is of course, your opinion. The notion that MST is a "gang" in the sense of actual organized crime, is kind of silly in my opinion and I doubt you'll find many journalists, even among the pro-Washington-Consensus crowd, who construe them as such. There is obviously a big difference between an organization whose members have been involved in criminal activities, and a "gang" or "organized crime" syndicate. If you find examples that claim the MST to be the latter, feel free to insert them but maintain due weight. In fact, while the article already mentions several of the arrests/charges, the article doesn't take into much consideration the claims of the MST that arrests of their members are often politically motivated. Needless to say, politically motivated arrests of non-criminals has a storied history in Brazil. In fact, I'll go ahead and add a reference to this one specific case: http://www.mstbrazil.org/?q=amorimanalysis ... Another thing -- MST claims the "occupations" to be constitutional, as mentioned in the article (of course, there have been arrests for some allegedly criminal acts (looting, destruction of property) carried out in the course of the occupations, as well as for alleged crimes outside of the occupations). 173.3.41.6 (talk) 20:26, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

I insist problem persists. We could edit the article as to reflect the includes a discussion on the issues surrounding the land ownership laws and regulations in the country, in an unbiased way that doesn't take as a start point that all property laws that assures rights of ownership to landlords are inherently bad. If so, one of the POVs is certainly that of seen MST as an organized group dedicated to commit the crime of trespassing and land grabbing.

However, it is quite pacific, or should be, that MST is no law enforcement agency and has no mandate to "take the law into its hands" even if the highly controversial interpretation of law it holds is to be accepted. Europegrad (talk) 13:32, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Wow, the article is heavily biased in favor of this group. I'm not sure how any neutral observer could come away without feeling so. --72.47.85.22 (talk) 13:46, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Wot someone wrote[edit]

Someone wrote:"It is an ideologically ecclectic movement" in place of "Marxist". The MST movement is a Marxist-Maoist inspired movement. It is a self-declared extreme-left movement, so it is troublesome you just saying it is an ideologically eccletic movement. It is not.

Citation needed[edit]

The Chico Mendes Center for Agroecology, founded May 15, 2004 in Ponat Grossa, Paraná, Brazil on land formerly used by Monsanto to grow genetically modified crops, intends to produce organic, native seed to distribute through MST. - I don't know where you find this assertion. I can't say it is true or untrue.

Ideology?[edit]

"The MST movement is a Marxist-Maoist inspired movement." In what way would it be Maoist-inspired? Also, being a Marxist and being inspired by Marxism are different things. "It is a self-declared extreme-left movement": If it is self-declared as such, please refer to texts in documents and constitution that defines it as Marxist.

As to the ecceletic aspect, I'd affirm that. For example, Liberation theology and later surge of antiglobalization protests has played a more important role in the ideological and political formation of MST than Marxism. --Soman 10:36, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

And what is Liberation theology besides Marxism disguised as a religion belief? -- Carlosar 11:04, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
How do you expect to convince me that the MST is not Marxist if you see at their homepage books and texts about/defending Marx ideas?
You were the one making the claim that they were "self-declared", so the issue of presenting proofs (i.e. excerpts from programmatic texts) lie upon you. The issue at stake is not whether there are Marxists or Marxist influence in the MST, it is whether its an explicit Marxist organization. A Marxist organization would mean that it had an ideological cadre policy, in my opinion MST is much broader than that. --Soman 16:48, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
If you want the following text:"... radical agrarian movement..." I see no problem at all. If you ask for 10 MST leaders about Marxism, the 10 will say they are Marxists, and the Marxism is the solution to society. If you visit a MST office, will see a picture of Che Guevara and Karl Marx, side by side. If I walk by the streets of my city I can see MST people walking up and down in red, singing revolutionary songs and praising Castro and Chavez(actually, not right now, because they are not here at this moment). I have been in contact with MST people face to face and in my opinion they are Marxist. Anyway, I accept your text now, since I think it is not untrue(maybe is missing information, but we can live with that). I hope you understand I have written "Marxist" because of good personal experience, it was not a hint. I respect your opinions and I praise your accuracy, so I will not write "Marxist" for now. I will try to develop the text in another way and I will try to use as much sources I can find. Anyway, thank you for your criticism, they are important.-- Carlosar 19:34, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)


You are right when you demands documents and constitution that defines the movement as Marxist. But I hope you understand I have written "Marxist" because I thought I was being more accutate. I didn't written it for another reason besides that. As a Brazilian, it is natural I call MST of "Marxisit"; no other Brazilian will be against this word in general. But since Wikipedia is international, and there are a lot of people who don't know Brazil's recent history in details, I can't expect they accept this word naturally. So you are right when you complain about it. It is a matter of accuracy, I think I understand it. No trouble at all.--Carlosar 19:47, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I would guess that both "eclectic" and "Marxist" are accurate in a Brazilian context, but that "Marxist" tends to have a narrower meaning in the English-speaking world. -- Jmabel | Talk 20:52, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)

MST as a Marxism movement[edit]

Some ideas. According to the MST:The new peasant movements have been deeply influenced by the social doctrines of the Church. At one of the plenary sessions, Fray Beto, the Brazilian Catholic theologian, asked the delegates how many had been influenced by religious teachings: over 90 percent raised their hands. Popular religiosity, the fusion of biblical lessons, and religious values has had a direct effect in stimulating the new generation of peasant leaders, along with Marxism, traditional communitarian values, and modern feminist and nationalist ideas.[1]

Also I think the problem is to find a good definition about what Marxism is. So at first we should ask: What is Marxim? And later we can discuss: Do the MST fullfill the requisites so they may be called Marxists? I suggest to define Marxism in a phew lines first.

Carlosar 11:06, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)-I was looking at the definition of Marxism in Wikipedia and I think we can use it here. According to Wikipedia: Marxists believe that capitalist society is divided into two powerful social classes:the working class or proletariat and the bourgeoisie.

  • Class Struggle concept: this is in the Marxism FAQ. MST believes in the Class Struggle concept.

What do you think about all of this? (unsigned,but appears to be Carlosar, too.)

Certainly that is an accurate statement about somethng Marxists believe, but it is not sufficient to define someone as a Marxist. For example, many anarchists would say the same. Heck, probably so would some people who identify as part of the bourgeiosie!
I think it would be useful to talk about the politics of MST a greater length; trying to capture that in one sentence in the article is unlikely. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:24, Feb 6, 2005 (UTC)
I agree. -- Carlosar 01:06, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Update?[edit]

Someone stuck the "update" tag on the article, but didn't indicate what is out of date about it. -- Jmabel | Talk 01:46, May 20, 2005 (UTC)

Sorry, I should've mentioned this here yesterday. On Current events, there is an entry for May 17:
12,000 protesters march in the Brazilian capital of Brasília to protest the government's slowness in land reform. A 17-day march of the Landless Workers' Movement ends with violence in the capital when the demonstrators clash with the riot police. Over 50 people are injured. (Reuters)
I was hoping to see some further info here or on the land reform page, perhaps for ITN on MainPage.... -- PFHLai 10:42, 2005 May 20 (UTC)
P.S. The photo of the march is there already. -- PFHLai 00:45, 2005 May 22 (UTC)

I added this regarding the MST's meeting with President Lula after their march into Brasilia.

After a two week march into Brasilia from the city of Goiania, several leaders of the MST met with President Lula da Silva on May 18, 2005. The leaders presented President Lula with a list of 16 demands of which included economic reform, greater public spending, and public housing. Afterwards during interviews with Reuters, many of the leaders said that they still regarded President Lula as an ally but demanded that he accelerate his promised land reforms.

Brazil has one of the largest wealth gaps thoughout Latin America and the world. Approximately half of all the country's farmland is owned by 1% of the population.

Looks like someone added that, so I've removed the "update" tag. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:25, May 24, 2005 (UTC)

Removed without discussion[edit]

The following all seem to have been removed from the article in the last month or so. Is any of this false? If so, would someone please say so explicitly? Otherwise, it would seem this information belongs in the article.

  • "It is an organization without any legal registration, strongly financed by European churches."

'There is no citation for this. its like suggesting that the civil rights movement did not have a legal registration. what does that mean. what are you implying? Colmenero

as for the strongly financie by european churches, that may be true. But again, that implies that it is less than an indigineous brasilian movement. Thus, it would be nice to see some proof of that.' Colmenero

    • Hmm. I didn't put either of the statements in there, and I don't view them as value-laden. My own main vehicle for political activism (in the U.S.) is an affinity group that has been active now for about 18 years and has systematically avoided any sort of legal registration. Are you saying that MST is so lacking in structure that there would be no organization to register, rather than that there has been a systematic decision not to do so? I always got a sense of them being more organized than that, but I'm 5,000 miles away, and have no particular expertise on Brazil, so I could easily be wrong. If they are that amorphous we could probably do more in the article to clarify that. -- Jmabel | Talk July 3, 2005 06:07 (UTC)
      • I guess I'm confused as to what you mean by being "registered." The MST is extremely organized. I'll try to get into that in the article as time permits. But the MST is a social movement, not a political party or an non-profit organization, that I know of. So the lack of registration is not to say that they aren't very well organized. Daniel 3 July 2005 08:02 (UTC)
        • That explains a bit. Do the more organizations sections within the movement systematically avoid registration, or was this just a red herring? -- Jmabel | Talk July 3, 2005 16:53 (UTC)
          • That I'm aware, there aren't seperate organizations within the MST. The MST has a number of sectors, including (1) Production,Cooperation and Environment (2)Human Rights, (3)Education (4) Health and (5) Culture.
            • So presumably there has been a reasonably deliberate decision not to structure in such a manner as to register with a government as, for example, an NGO. -- Jmabel | Talk July 3, 2005 23:28 (UTC)
              • That I can't answer. But I will look into it. It's an interesting question.
    • As for financing from European churches: yes, I'd like to see a more solid citation on that, and it probably shouldn't go back in the article without one. But as far as value judgments go, it doesn't seem an unrespectable source of money. It's not as if someone were saying they were strongly financed by narco-traffickers or by a foreign government. -- Jmabel | Talk July 3, 2005 06:07 (UTC)
      • I agree. It is a respectible source of support. I assume underlying meanings because of my training as an attorney. I know that Terra de Direitos, an NGO closely related with the MST, is tying to strengthen its ties with Europe. I assume that is because the MST's ties are now more linked to the U.S. I also know that there are Friends of the MST groups throughout Europe: Italy, France, Spain, ect. I wouldn't be surprised if the MTS gets more financial support from Europe than the U.S. That was through activities spread throughout the U.S.Daniel 3 July 2005 08:02 (UTC)


  • "It is an ideologically eclectic rural movement of hundreds of thousands of landless peasants (and some who live in small cities) striving to achieve land reform in Brazil. The MST has been inspired since its inception by liberation theology, Marxism, the Cuban Revolution, and a variety of other leftist ideologies. The MST has been present at the World Social Forum. It employs a wide range of tactics that range from direct-action occupation of productive farms and public buildings and destruction of private property to electoral politics through the Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers' Party)." (bits and pieces of this remain, especially the first dozen words or so, but most of it is gone.
  • "The economist João Pedro Stedile is one of the main leaders of the MST."
  • "After a two week march into Brasilia from the city of Goiania, during which the movement invaded 17 parcels of private property, destroying fences and gates to build their encampments and to install their complex infrastructure, several leaders of the MST met with President Lula da Silva on May 18, 2005. The leaders presented President Lula with a list of 16 demands of which included economic reform, greater public spending, and public housing. Afterwards during interviews with Reuters, many of the leaders said that they still regarded President Lula as an ally but demanded that he accelerate his promised land reforms." Again, all but the opening phrase now seems to be gone.
  • "Brazil has one of the largest wealth gaps thoughout Latin America and the world. Approximately half of all the country's farmland is owned by 1% of the population."

These removals are so large that it almost amounts to ignoring the article that was there before and starting over from an entirely different angle, without discussion, without citation, and with edit summaries that don't give a clue that large amounts of material were cut. -- Jmabel | Talk June 28, 2005 05:39 (UTC)

Dispute[edit]

It appears that the disputes have been worked through and changes made in the article to reflect the compromise. How long do we keep the warning up? Colmenero (1 July 2005)



I am not against what you wrote, however certain things need to be explained more clearly.

Land occupation is illegal in Brazil, besides what is written in Constitutional Authority section.

I'm don't know whether that is the case or not. Someone else would have to cite legal authority for that fact.

The government is who expropriate irregular lands and the government compensates the owners.

Yes, often only after a the MST occupys it to bring attention to the fact that it is unproductive.

No, it is not true.

For example, the Asentamento Estrela in the municipality of Ortigeira in Parana went through this process. The families occupied the land, a judicial process began, and eventually, INCRA came in and expropriated the land, giving the families title. I'm not sure what the dispute is. Colmenero

What is a rural property that is not performing its social function? Some people say that some of the lands occupied by the MST are productive and they should not be occupied because they are performing a social function. There is a dispute here.

Yes there is a dispute and it is central to the debate taking place in Brasil. According to Article 186 of the constitution, the social function is performed when rural propery simulatneously meets . . . . the following requirements: (1) rational and adequate use; (2) adequate use of available natural resources and presearvation of the environment; (3) complaince with the provisions which regulate labor relations; and (4) exploitation which favors the well-being of the owners and workers."

You must say that some lands occupied by MST are productive, so the occupation can be disputed.


The article shows the MST only from the point of view of the MST.

The article is now organized so that all sides can work together to present a neutral article. If someone has legal authority to cite that suggests that the Constitution does not require the Feds to expropriate land, then it can be stated.

It is ok however there are other point of views, there are a lot of other things. Example: MST liasons with Hugo Chávez and the Bolivarian revolution, MST liasons with the FARC, the revolutionary agenda, the violence commited by MST against small farmers and other accusations of violence, the lost of suport by population, etc I will try to add them if I get free time. For now, I would be happy if you tried to fix the Constitutional Authority section. Thank you.--Carlosar 28 June 2005 14:29 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean be "fix" the Constitutional Authority section. It merely quotes the sections of the constitution at issue in this debate.

Maybe the solution is to have one section of this article on underlying political ideology. But it does not seem fair to flood a reader with that one issue, whether the MST is Marxist, when there is so much else going on. Colmenero.'

Maybe we should start another section on the Social Function of Land. Colmenero

I saw in anther wikapedia article a lot of different sections. This seems to facilitate giving a broad picture of the subject. For example, the is so much to say about the MST accomplishments in education. We've just scratched the surfice. Colmenero


The economist João Pedro Stedile is one of the leaders of the MST. Take a look here [2] and here [3]

My issue with this is that the MST tries to defuse the suggestion that there are individual leaders as opposed to a vast number of decision makers in thousands of acampamentos and assenatamentos throughout dozens of states in Brasil. For a first time reader, it is misleading to assign such authority to one person.

I did not agree with you. There are individual leaders. Althought there are some decision makers in several acampamentos, there are central leaders.--Carlosar 29 June 2005 03:31 (UTC)

Maybe a possible solution is to identify Stedile as a leading spokesperson while acknowledging that there are leaders and decesion makers spread throughout the movement. The MST is much larger than one man. Stedile is not Antonio Conselero.'' Colmenero

A lot of information has been removed without a clear reason. --Carlosar 28 June 2005 14:37 (UTC)

Also: why did you removed the text that was saying that the MST is a Marxist inspired movement?

Because the Marxist label that someone attached to the MST is all that is being discussed about this article. The more relevant question is "what is the social function of land.

I did not agree.--Carlosar 29 June 2005 03:31 (UTC)
The MST is a political movement besides a movement for Land Reformation. The MST have a revolutionary agenda, like the FARC, the Bolivarian revolution of Chavez, for examples. I did not agree when you say: "The more relevant question" is just land.

Again, maybe a solution is to have a section on the MST objectives. The MST is independent of any political party. It is is a political movement only in the sense that is educated rural workers, via a freirian model, that have no access to education otherwise. It is political in that MST members recognize they have a voice in the direction of their country. The movement is revolutionary in the sense that, as many countries, the poor are not integrated into civil society and political participation. Colmenero


Please, sign your posts. It is difficult to read without signining.--Carlosar 29 June 2005 03:31 (UTC)

-I apologize, I'm new at this. Colmenero

Other passages: Upon occupation, a legal process commences to expropriate the land and grant title to the landless workers.

This is not true. There is not a rule saying that the land must be occupied so you have to expropriate it. Besides, sometimes the Courts rules against the MST and they have to leave the occupied land.--Carlosar 29 June 2005 03:31 (UTC)

The article does not say that the MST must occupy it so that it can be expropriated. It suggests that the MST moves the process along, occupying the land so the a judicial process begins that may or may not result in expropriation. The articel acknowledges that the court does not always rule in the MSTs favor. Colmenero

It appears that the disputes have been worked through and changes made in the article to reflect the compromise. How long do we keep the warning up? Colmenero (1 July 2005)

  • If the dispute is mutually agreed upon as solved, then by all means remove the tag. However, if the person who originally raised the dispute believes the tag should still be there, that person should make it clear what is still disputed. BTW, even if you don't want to take an account, you can still datestamp your posts when you use ~~~~. -- Jmabel | Talk July 2, 2005 03:39 (UTC)

Thanks Daniel 3 July 2005 07:42 (UTC)

Dispute -2[edit]

I apologize because I did not came here before. I dont have too much time.--Carlosar 2 July 2005 04:16 (UTC)

I would like to ask you to change the sentence:

The expropriation process can take years and is often accompanied by violence as fazendeiros hire gunmen to intimidate, and not infrequently kill, members of the MST.


To:


The expropriation process can take years and is sometimes accompanied by violence as fazendeiros hire gunmen to intimidate, and not infrequently kill, members of the MST.


I have read the other sentences and I am still thinking about them. But I think that I agree with some of them, so this dispute will finish soon. However I will have to add more information (in a new section)--Carlosar 2 July 2005 04:16 (UTC)


That is a very reasonable request.  It's done.  Colmenero

So, are we ready to remove the warnings off this article yet? 68.127.184.214 03:08, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Vandalism[edit]

Removed "MST It´s a shame to Brazil and the order in Brazil. The movement destroys, kill, and spank people. The government does NOTHING TO CHANGE IT. The army must be used. And soon!

They believe in Communism Revolution, violence and death to get to the power. Definitely, MST its prejudicial to Democratic Repúblic of Brazil." from the section of Vandalism. POV, poorly articulated, largely incorrect and misconcieved. —This unsigned comment was added by 82.2.173.61 (talkcontribs) 11 March 2006.

The entire section entitled "vandalism" is poorly written to the point that I don't even think I can copy edit it. "The MST stimulates a large diversity of vandalism acts…Its president, Mr Stédile, greeted the vandals…" If someone knows what this means to say, and can write decent English, please fix it. Otherwise, it should be cut to talk, because it is nearly incomprehensible. - Jmabel | Talk 04:34, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Edits by Fred Douglas[edit]

Okay, I've gone over the article in an attempt to make it NPOV. I've removed the following: "The MST’s success lies in its ability to organize and educate. Members have not only managed to secure land, therefore food security for their families, but also continue to develop a sustainable socio-economic model that offers a concrete alternative to today's globalization that puts profits before people and humanity."

You need to justify that they're succesful with citations, references from non-biased sources, etc. I have put a "citation needed" mark where these are required. Also, do not remove referenced material. The vandalism section was properly referenced and to the best of my knowlege from the article, accurate. Do not edit out a reference unless you intend to discredit said source. Otherwise, lot's of new information--let's keep it going!--Dali-Llama 13:19, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Bias[edit]

This article is biased towards the MST. It makes them look as freedom fighters, revolutionaries, heros, when in fact they are nothing but a bunch of vandals. And when I say vandal, I mean they break other's things without any reason at all. In my humble opinion, they should be doing something more productive like reforestation. Cuzandor 04:12, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

No matter what your opinion is of who they are, the way to go about it is to keep the article under a neutral point-of-view. If you're really passionate about it, try to find an instance of their vandalism (and we know there are many) and add it to the vandalism section (with lots of citations). Go for it!--Dali-Llama 12:19, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I´ve never agreed with Cuzandor before, but this article is clearly biased towards MST. I was hoping to read an article consistent with Wikipedia NPOV policies, but found POV everywhere. We must strive to provide all points of view (at least the most important) to capacitate the reader to achieve his own judgments. The MST is a brutal and agressive movement, I´ve witinessed friends of mine being beaten by those so called freedom-fighters when they occupied a road tolling facility on the state of Paraná where I was working on (what the hell they have to do with road toll?)... I do not deny them the right to fight. I´m pretty much on the middle-ground here. The government do little for the poor, and the poor do not achieve anything by lowering their heads, the rich like to stay imovable in place, not to let things change. It´s hard to imagine anything being acomplished without some kind of fight, but I think MST to be more politically driven than ideologically. There are reliable sources that aligns with them, and many others that are against them. I think it would be top-priority to research it and bring a more neutral and balanced view to the entire article (the introduction section even claims that the occupations are rooted on the constitution, which is entirely a personal interpretation, after all, the constitution is a much more reliable root for the right for property not occupation of property). Loudenvier 16:29, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Then let's find citations of what they are and are not. Fred Douglas did a very pro-POV re-edit to the article, as I imagine will most people outside of Brazil. Let's find those "reliable sources" you talk about and put them in here. I've put the "[citation needed]" tag where the POV facts aren't backed up. Unless we want to strip the article of all content, let's find sources, both pro and con, to figure out what the MST is and is not.--Dali-Llama 19:51, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
It´ll be hard to figure it out! The best we could hope is to provide the most reliable sources from the many points of view (POV :-) this matter attracts. Let the readers figure out what the MST is for themselves :-) (By the way I did a few searchs in google, the majority of articles are in Portuguese but since I´m brazilian it won´t be a problem (just a litle copy-edit by english speakers will suffice!!!). Loudenvier 20:46, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Non-english language sources are okay as long as they are pertinent to the article. There is no "hard" policy against non-English language sources, only that it is "preferred" for sources to be in English. You'll notice all my sources from the vandalism section are in Portuguese. If origin for the source is closely related to the subject matter (IE: A Portuguese source for an article on a Brazilian subject), it shouldn't be hard for us to obtain peer-review of sources).--Dali-Llama 21:05, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Sources[edit]

I've removed this passage "Just 3% of the population owns two-thirds of all arable lands.[1]". It is arguably a biased data claim made from a tertiary interested party, the movement itself. Someone could look for data on IBGE, MRA and other official data repositories instead of referring to a statement coming from the organization itself.

> The citation was brought back, I edit it to inform it is a claim, not a fact - and a self-made claim. Europegrad (talk) 13:35, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

I've removed the sources put forth by Fred Douglas. On the "João Pedro Stédile" source, he is not a neutral third-party source. While I don't dispute the fact, I'm sure we can find a better source from IBGE or a third-party think-tank. I've also removed Mitsue Morissawa. The publisher "Expressão Popular" is a partisan source closely related to the MST movement. It is not impartial. See WP:RS for info on this.

I've also removed the following: "The MST has won land titles for more than 350,000 families in 2,000 settlements as a result of MST actions, and 180,000 encamped families currently await government recognition". There is no source for this, and it's a very material piece of data. The number of families settled between 1994 and 2002 (the FHC years) is actually twice than that[4], so let's figure out exactly how many families they have have direct involvement in settling.

I've also removed "Since 1985, the MST has occupied land where they state they have established cooperative farms, constructed houses, schools for children and adults and clinics, promoted indigenous cultures and a healthy and sustainable environment and gender equality." for the same reason. It's a material charge for which there's no non-biased, verifiable source.--Dali-Llama 13:59, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

In response to 63.249.86.141's edits, I've removed the [Wright & Wolford, 2003] source. This is not an impartial source, and in the very same article they encourage people to support the MST. I've also removed the following: The MST’s 1,800 Schools of Fundamental Education adjust their education to the realities of life in the countryside. Statistics from INEP (The National Institute of Research and Studies in Education) identify 200,000 children and young adults in attendance, and 3,900 educators in these schools. In MST pre-schools, for children below the age of six, there are roughly 250 educators along with another 3,000 alphabetization teachers for all ages, with roughly 30,000 students currently learning to read and write throughout the country. If we're invoking the INEP, let's find the statistics on their website. As the Veja story below points out, there is a "mixture" of MST schools and government-sponsored schools, and neither can claim credit for the whole. Also, the translation of "Escola Nacional" Florestan Fernandes is "school", not "university"[5]. Also, I've removed "warm" and "limited", as these are not NPOV terms and need to be backed up if they are to remain.--Dali-Llama 18:58, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
There is no requirement that sources be neutral, only that they be reliable. If they are quoted for their opinions, even reliablility may not be a requirement.
Two good examples of sources that are by no means politically neutral but are very ethical and reliable are The Wall Street Journal (pro-capitalist and conservative) and The Nation (left/liberal and borderline socialist). Both of these are excellent and much-used sources in Wikipedia. - Jmabel | Talk 00:28, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

I removed a translated version of a controversial sentencing that was later turned over in higher courts. It is my understanding that direct quotes from court proceedings cannot be used as primary sources in Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Europegrad (talkcontribs) 13:38, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

On the Violence section[edit]

Violence is a common occurrence in the Brazilian land reform conflict, perpetrated by both government authorities and the MST itself. In a notorious example, the Eldorado dos Carajás Massacre, 19 MST members were gunned down in a massive clash between police and the MST[1]. The MST itself is violent at times, including cases where it has tortured and killed police officers after taking them prisoner.[2]

The ideas written here don't match with the sources that they cite, simple and clear. I don't mean to argue if the MST uses or has used violence.

The problem may be that the sources cited are in portuguese. As for me, portuguese is not my native language, it's spanish, but I understand portuguese. So, I can tell that saying that at the Eldorado dos Carajás Massacre there was a massive clash between police and MST activists is not what the website cited says. The website [6] is clearly pro MST in the interpreation of the facts happened there and says that the activists defended themselves with rocks and sticks while the police was throwing gas bombs and shooting. That doesn't describe a massive clash in my opinion.

As for the second episode of supossed violence it doesn't match its sources either. It reads cases where it (MST) has tortured and killed police officers after taking them prisoner. The article cited, despite having an opinion that could be considered anti MST, does not say that. It says that at an MST camp one policeman was tortured and another killed, probably, following the article's information, by people who weren't members of MST at the time. MST did condemn this act and argued that the people who did it had been expulsed time before from the movement. In this other website you can learn that.

MST is a violent movement. Period. The fact that they condemn such "violence" afterwards is only retoric political speak. The torture of the policeman is a well known fact here in Brazil, as it is the invasion of road-toll facilities and aggression against the press. It will be hard to find english sources for a movement mostly concerned with Brazil´s agrarian reform. Not all sources need to be available online nor in the english language. The fact that you could not read portuguese neither make the cited source correct nor wrong :-) An unbiased portuguese speaker could be "summoned" to watch over this. There are tags that can be put in the article asking for an specialist. Perhaps it applies here. Loudenvier 15:30, 13 June 2006 (UTC)


[7] (in portuguese, Folha newspaper)[8](in english - wikinews -, close translation from the portuguese one).

A suggestion> (maybe there is a policy for this already)

  • TRY NOT TO CITE SOURCES IN OTHER LANGUAGES (and if you do try to know what they clearly say)

I say this because for me, I wouldn't have liked to have believed that what it says in this section was true only because I didn't understand what their sources said. Citing sources that are not in english, I think, is a dangerous practice to the verifiability of the enciclopedia.

  • REWRITE THE SECTION TO WHAT HAS BEEN WRITTEN ABOVE, (I don't do it myself because, as i said, English is not my native tongue and I would rather having someone who is native rewrite the section.

Thanks, --Ernalve 03:31, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Source [9] is from one of Brazil's largest newspapers. They're typically NPOV and the general consensus amongst the population is that Eldorado dos Carajás was pretty much a massacre, regardless of your opinion of the MST. In the second source (the torture case), the article states that the policemen were chasing individuals who called for help from the MST settlement. The police officers were then approached by a group of about 100 workers from the MST settlement, at which point they were taken captive. The follow-up article denies the MST's involvement. Perhaps adding a statement of them denying their involvement would suffice. Overall the violence section is correct. As for the language of the sources, it is typically hard to find foreign press coverage of these issues, at least beyond the headline and two-paragraph blurb. This article is edited by a lot of native Portuguese-speakers, which are able to check the sources. Typically the more geocentric an article (IE: about a Brazilian Social movement), the more relevant is a source in that language. --Dali-Llama 21:45, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
While, all things being equal, English language sources are to be preferred, all things are not equal. Clearly, the most detailed coverage of Brazil will generally be in Portuguese. We should not rely on inferior sources because they happen to be in English. - Jmabel | Talk 02:27, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Actually this article mentions many examples of alleged MST violence but very few examples of violence against the MST from their opponents outside of the opening paragraph. 173.3.41.6 (talk) 20:46, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Violence Again[edit]

About the sources that we have on the Violence section, they don´t match what the article says in this part. Again, no massive clash in source 1; no torture or killing directly claimed against MST in source 2:

Source 2 doesn´t say "that the policemen were chasing individuals who called for help from the MST settlement. The police officers were then approached by a group of about 100 workers from the MST settlement, at which point they were taken captive."

ACCORDING TO THIS SOURCE (I don´t know anything else about this episode)

The police wasn´t called from MST. "O sargento Cícero Jacinto da Silva e os soldados Adilson Alves Aroeira e Luiz Pereira da Silva foram ao local e iniciaram uma perseguição."

It says that the 3 policemen just went, to chase the suspects, not that they were called from MST camp.

At one moment the supects´ car is stopped "O Saveiro entrou em uma estrada vicinal e foi parado.", and the policemen get off their car to arrest the suspects; as this happenes the suspects take the opportunity, gear the car and leave "Segundo os policiais sobreviventes, assim que eles desceram do carro para render os suspeitos, a dupla acelerou de novo e fugiu."

A new persecution happenes and at last the runaways stop the car at a part of the MST camp and call for help: "Houve nova perseguição, encerrada somente quando os veículos entraram no assentamento do engenho Bananeira. No local, relataram os policiais, os supostos integrantes do MST desceram do Saveiro e começaram a gritar por socorro."

Then about 100 members of the MST´s camp appear and at this moment 2 policemen are taken captive (source doesn´t say if it was by the suspects or the MST) and the other scapes.

Next, backup for the police shows up and negotiations start. When the police get the chance to enter the camp, one policeman is already dead and with signs of torture. "Ao entrar no assentamento, os policiais encontraram o corpo do soldado desaparecido. Ele foi morto a tiros e, segundo a PM, apresentava sinais de tortura."

The other policeman, who survives, will say that he was kept captive by at least 6 men and so on...

but it doesn´t say anywhere that "The MST itself is violent at times, including cases where it has tortured and killed police officers after taking them prisoner". That´s what we have on the article, and there is no evidence, at least for me, for saying that from source 2. So: "Overall the violence section is [NOT] correct".

If most editors in this article are brazilian we should agree on this. --Ernalve 04:08, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

I am brazillian. For me it´s clear that the MST was responsible for those deaths and tortures. The article itself tells it. They were taken captive after the arrival of the 100 MST people. The source doesn´t explicit says the policemen were taken captive by the MST because it´s already implied: They were taken captive after the arrival of the MST mob. This article does not need to be a verbatim copy of the source, since it would be a violation of copyright. By the way I think the violence section is wrong but not because the MST is not a violent movement (it have shown that it is VIOLENT many times, as is also violent the police when dealing with them). This section is wrong because it´s interpretative in substance. It´s not correct to say "The MST itself is violent at times..." unless you find a source which recognizes it. Reading an article about MST violence does not allow one editor to say "the MST is a violent movement" (although they are, it´s an interpretation that must be left to the reader, not enforced by the editor). Wikipedia is not place for editors to show their conclusions: Let´s say: A source tells that A is Yellow, B is Blue, it´s not up to the editor to conclude that A + B is green. We should only expose the facts from the sources, any intelligent reader will recognize that the MST is violent, no need to keep saying it on the article (on the contrary, in this talk, you are allowed to express your opinion, like me! :-) Loudenvier 14:20, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
There is an unavoidable degree os interpretiveness in the writing of anything--with the possible exception of a dictionary. It is my understanding that the MST has shown itself to be violent at times, though that is not to say that they inherently violent or criminal. It's a difference between the means and the end: one can say that the MST employs violence at times, though violence is not its main objective. Much like the police, violence is used at times, but that is not its end objective (that's to uphold the law). Conclusions are allowed in Wikipedia, as long as they can be challenged and discussed as much as we're doing now. I'm obviously okay with the way it's phrased, but if there are any objections, edit the section and let's take it from there.--Dali-Llama 21:27, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I´ve read over some policies and concluded that conclusions are not allowed in wikipedia, because they are original research. "The MST itself is violent at times" can be better written "There were times the MST employed violence", which is not an interpretation, but a depicting of the facts (if it can be sourced, of course). Regards. Loudenvier 22:34, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Seems a bit semantic for me, but again, feel free to change the section.--Dali-Llama 23:39, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
After posting it I found that it´s indeed a bit semantic only! You´re right. No need to change anything. Loudenvier 02:00, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Violence section - a proposal[edit]

I propose to introduce this changes, what do you think?


Episodes of violence have happened in the Brazilian land reform conflict, perpetrated by both government authorities and the MST itself. In a notorious example, the Eldorado dos Carajás Massacre, 19 MST members were gunned down while they were blocking a national rute[1]. The MST has also been accused of comitting violence, including a case of torture and assasination of police officers by people who is debated if at the time they were MST members or not.[2]

Maybe we could rewrite the last section, perhaps it is not readable enough in english. But I suggest to mantain the idea that it is not clear, accourding to the presented sources, if they were or not members at the time.

This was written by ernalve

I'm changing the section according to what I wrote above. --Ernalve 12:10, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Crime and Vandalism[edit]

In Landless Workers' Movement#Crime and Vandalism, there are allusions to destruction at a Monsanto farm, but no mention of what motivated the attack (I'd guess genetically modified organisms, but we should say so). Also, I don't see what "despite the farm having over 600 hectares devoted to eucalyptus growth" has to do with anything: we have not been given the context to see why that is "despite". - Jmabel | Talk 02:48, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

"Despite" is given the typical rationalization given by the MST when it takes over farms because they are "unproductive". Having 600 ha for eucalyptus growth is not being unproductive. You're right, more explanations in that paragraph are in order.--Dali-Llama 04:12, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

MST and democracy in Brazil[edit]

This section is not a fact, it is a POV. I do't thinck it should be a section like this at all, instead should be a History section. It is too controversial to say somenthing like "MST’s actions have in fact played an important role in the strengthening of Brazil’s democratic institutions." Miguel Carter assertion in the end of the section, despite it is a citation from a scholar, it is his POV; and it is far from being a consensus.

Somenthing else: there are a Violence section and a Crime and Vandalism section. I thinck it should all be together in a Violence section about violence from and to MST.

Davivalle 02:04, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Feel free to make those changes, subject to everyone's subsequent edits, of course. I generally concur with the democracy section being a POV section (especially the last paragraph).--Dali-Llama 02:27, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Madrassas[edit]

The paragraph about schools financed by the MST, calling them Madrassad that indoctrinate children, is highly polemic and questionable, especially the analogy with Islamic schools in the Middle East. Wikipedia should be more neutral than journalistic magazines that are close to the political opponents' side. --El bes (talk) 05:23, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Brazilian videos about MST[edit]

These sites: [MST1] , [MST2] and [MST3] have videos about MST.Agre22 (talk) 13:40, 8 August 2009 (UTC)agre22

Vandalism by Rodrigrap[edit]

It seems this user has a particular gripe with the MST. Though some parts of the edits may have been for the better, I think we can agree that inserting terms like "fallacy" isn't exactly POV either. Darth Viller (talk) 13:30, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

The edits refered above are staple propaganda points from the Brazilian Right, which are repeated on a daily basis at Brazilian mainstream Media and aim at the vilification of the MST ("invasion" en lieu of "occupation", rants at the "leniency of the courts", etc., etc.). I have nothing, in principle, about exposing criticism to the MST in the edits, but such criticism should be made by using of references and authorities (books, academic journal articles) instead of fuming unsubstantiated rantsCerme (talk) 10:29, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Violent Confrontations[edit]

This section is out of order chronologically. Is it OK if I put it in order?

Alison intheair (talk) 05:39, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Sure! WP:BB says to be bold.--DThomsen8 (talk) 17:00, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

On Cerme and RafaAzevedo's edits[edit]

Here's my take, requested by Cerme on this issue, which is clearer than in the Paulo Francis article.

--On Brazilian courts: To me, this seems a clear case of "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". One source is not a consensus, and the assertion of bias of an entire judiciary system is pretty extraordinary. Notwithstanding the fact that the article right now uses the same judiciary's decisions as a basis for which to provide constitutional justification for the MST. So in one instance it disqualifies the source while on the other asserting its reliability. For the purposes of this edit, I have to side with RafaAzevedo. Again, I'm not disputing that there isn't a bias--I'm just saying to make that claim you need a lot more evidence.

--On Veja: This is an old argument at the English wikipedia, and one which on occasion I've participated in. As I've said before: Veja's bias is not self-admitted (IE: unlike The Economist which is admittedly liberal or The National Review which is admittedly conservative.) In this case, "well-known" is not justified by the sources presented, but it could certainly be reasonable to say that the magazine is often criticized for having a right-wing bias. I personally have issues with even that criticism, since it's ad hominem and disqualifies the source rather than the information, but I don't think it's worth to stir that up right now. --Dali-Llama (talk) 21:32, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree with everything, especially the last point. Recently the same discussion was held in ptwiki, when an editor proposed that Veja should no longer be used as a reliable source for what he claimed was an 'obvious bias', and the proposal was rejected. As Dali-Llama said, these attempts to claim that it is 'right-wing' or something of the sort are usually used to diminish and disqualify the source, many times in order to remove the information it referenced. RafaAzevedo msg 21:36, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I will answer to Dalillama and see wheter a consensus is to be found:

- On Brazilian courts: I tend to agree, as the sole source so far I have found says that the MST engages in litigation , for other reasons, in order to gain sympathies for its cause from individual judges - something very inportant in a juditial system based on Roman Law where trial by jury is very infrequent. I would say that judges' stances towards the MST usually ranges from empathy to deep seated hostility, active simpathies being rare, and that higher (collegiate)courts are more ill-disposed than individual judges in charge of lower courts - but to state that I would need additional references.

- On Veja: Brazilian printed midia usually caters for a general readership and as such avoid taking an overtly partisan stance. In the case of Veja, however, there is the particular case, described in the article, of the account given by a reporter about MST public-funded schools being "madrassas". The whole problem is in considering wheter this particular piece of journalism is representative or not of a general stance. If we admit this (as I must say I personally do) then this equation ("MST schools=Madrassas") would offer an evidence of bias, as equating the MST with islamic fundamentalism would be to equate two entirely different movements, in entirely different societies, with entirely different concrete goals. What the two movements have in common would be, at best, their "radical" character. Acceptance of this equation, however, is , AFAIK, common in some milieus in the outer periphery of the Far Right, who tend to think in terms of conspiracy theories that include everything from the Chinese secret service, the secret remnants of the KGB to gay and ecological movements in vast (and vague) conspiracies to subvert Western Civilization. Perhaps we could settle for a consensus if we were symply to estate that the MST considers Brazilian Midia in general and Veja in particular to be biased against it as a movement - for which there is ample evidence we could gather.

Finally, I would like to say that, though I agree that Wikipedia itself has no opinion and takes always a neutral stance, I believe this should not be stated at every line of the text, as one must not underestimate the readers' intelligence: the mere existence of a footnote appers to me to be evidence enough that the opinion offered is the source's, which, being acessible, can be perused by the reader, who will be left to decide by him/herself. Also, in terms of style, the constant repetition of the line "in the author's view", "in the sources' opinion", etc. renders the text bureaucratic-looking and somewhat indigestible.

Okay, that's itCerme (talk) 17:42, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Merely presenting the source is not enough when an opinion is being presented not as a quote, but as a fact. An encyclopedic article cannot present opinions and judgments without clarifying in the text who made them; this is not a magazine, newspaper article or blog. As for Veja's supposed partiality, if it is to be mentioned it should also be said that those who accuse the magazine of being partial are almost invariably connected in some way to the Left, either physiologically or ideologically. RafaAzevedo msg 16:29, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

"those who accuse the magazine [Veja] of being partial are almost invariably connected in some way to the Left, either physiologically [sic] or ideologically"[edit]

And many who support said magazine's impartiality are connected in someway to the Far Right. So what?Cerme (talk) 17:48, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Not really, unless you accuse all of Veja's readers (and it is the most read magazine in Brazil) of being somehow connected to the "Far Right". That it is not a leftist or pro-leftist magazine is something widely known, and the magazine itself never hid it, but to accuse it of being 'far right' (whatever this term may mean in a country like Brazil) is ludicrous. RafaAzevedo msg 19:24, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

What is meant by Far Right.[edit]

There are many Brazilian policy makers and Media professionals who take an hostile stance towards the MST, by

(a) Rejecting the movement's modus operandi,which they see as confrontational and unnecessary violent;

(b) Regarding the problem of landlessness as something that could be solved by banking on the ability of the labour market to eventually, in the long run, turn "peasants" and former small farmers into wage-workers, as historically happened in a number of capitalist countries - e.g. the United Kingdon since the XIXth. Century enclosures;

However, in these twin cases, there is an awareness that there is an actual problem with access to the land and that it raises a legitimate issue about the landless' plight. In the case of Veja, the popularity of the magazine notwithstanding , what we have is something completely different: an attempt at presenting the movement as "terrorist" (by drawing on the equation MST schools=madrassas)and therefore as a criminal enterprise devoid of any political legitimacy whatsoever. That's something associated with Far Right thinking: an appeal at solving a social question by purely coercive and repressive meansCerme (talk) 21:55, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

PS By the way, the article does not delve on the question of Veja's ideology. What it say is about the fact that there is a lot of bad blood between the magazine and the MST, so much that it has been taken at least twice as a case-story for Media studiesCerme (talk) 22:14, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

PS2 - I have left the question about wheter Veja is Far Right or not for the reader to decide and have simply stated that the megazine is known for its public, uncompromising and open hostility towards all kinds of social movements "from below", with an additional quote to support itCerme (talk) 22:30, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Veja is Brazil's largest and most popular periodical. It is slightly right of center, but by no means "far" right. --72.47.85.22 (talk) 13:52, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
At this point of time, discussing Veja's particular ideology is already a non-issue that should perhaps be moved to the magazine's article. What this article say, supporting itself on various quotes taken from Veja's past issues digital archive, is that Veja is profoundly hostile towards MST's activities in general, and that such an hostile stance is reciprocated by the MST's leadershipCerme (talk) 14:43, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Veja hostile towards MST? No. A better word would be critical. --72.47.85.22 (talk) 16:47, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
"Critical" in my view, would be if Veja acknowledged land reform in Brazil as an actual need, but deprecated the MST's particular methods, instead of describing any attempt at land reform as a criminal enterprise. However, it's hard to understand what is the goal of this discussion, given the existence of reliable sources enough in the article - in fact Veja's own archive of digitalized past issues - that allow the reader to grasp for him/herself Veja's precise stance towards the MST and vice-versaCerme (talk) 17:21, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

Toolbox

See WP:DEADREF
for dead URLs

This review is transcluded from Talk:Landless Workers' Movement/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Pyrotec (talk · contribs) 15:14, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

I will review. Pyrotec (talk) 15:14, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Initial comments[edit]

I'm sorry for the delay in starting to write down my review of this nomination. The requirements are given in WP:WIAGA.

This is quite a long article, but that has not been the main reason for the delay. At this point in the review, I've no clear idea as to whether this article will make GA-status by the end of this review:

  • It appears to be well referenced (but I've not checked any of the references), so that appears to be a strong "tick in the box" (well in clauses 2 (a) & (b)).
  • The WP:Lead looks to be strongly non-compliant, but I mostly consider the Lead at the end of the article - so it might be fixable during the review. So non-compliant at present with clause 1 (b).
  • It's not clear what the Earlier history of the land question in Brazil until the 1988 Constitution section is doing there. It reads a bit like an essay.
  • Most of the article reads like an essay.

I will continue to review this article. I cannot at this point in the review see any strong grounds for quick failing this nomination. But, again it's not clear whether this article will pass the requirements.

I'm going to start at Earlier history of the land question in Brazil until the 1988 Constitution, work my way to the end of the article and then go back and look at the Lead. Pyrotec (talk) 20:50, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Earlier history of the land question in Brazil until the 1988 Constitution -
  • This section has no clear structure and its not yet clear what this section is doing/is_here_for. I will analyse it and try and work out why its here
  • Most of this section is about land reform, but the MST is discussed in the first, part of the fourth paragraph, the fifth and the last paragraph. The next section is called History and this is about the formation of the MST, but some sentences in the second section repeat what is stated in the first section. For example: ... much of the driving force at the early organizing of the MST came from Catholic base communities and The founding process itself was very much connected with Catholic Church base organizations such as ....
  • I think this article would "read better" if the section title was shortened to something like Land reform and the first, fifth and last paragraphs moved into the History section.
  • Much of this section is written like an essay, For example the some of the sentences in this paragraph: Historically, the first statute that regulated landed property in independent Brazil was the Landed Property Act (Lei de Terras) or Law number 601, enacted on September 18, 1850. Being drafted in a process of transition from a colonial administration based on Portuguese feudal law - in which property depended on both Crown's grants (sesmarias) and primogeniture (morgadio) - to a national bourgeois independent Brazilian state, the law established that the standard mode for acquiring landed property was to be by means of a money purchase - either from the State, or for a previous private owner - and as such strongly limited opportunities to exercise squatter's right, therefore favouring the historical concentration of landed property that became one of the hallmarks of modern Brazilian social history (see [7]). are very long. It could easily be improved by splitting some sentences into two: Historically, tThe first statute that regulated landed property in independent Brazil was the Landed Property Act (Lei de Terras) or Law number 601, enacted on September 18, 1850. Being drafted in a process of transition from a colonial administration based on Portuguese feudal law - in which property depended on both Crown's grants (sesmarias) and primogeniture (morgadio) - to a national bourgeois independent Brazilian state, the law established that the standard mode for acquiring landed property was to be by means of a money purchase - either from the State, or for a previous private owner. - and as such strongly This limited opportunities to exercise squatter's rights, therefore favouring the historical concentration of landed property that became one of the hallmarks of modern Brazilian social history (see [7]).
  • Similar comments apply to other paragraphs in this section.
  • History -
  • The grammar in this section is considerably better than the first, and it is a bit more encyclopaedic. However, there are numerous spelling mistakes - I've corrected some, but more remain uncorrected.
  • This section lacks a WP:NPOV. The first paragraph starts off: The smashing of the peasant leagues ....; the second paragraph has '...the families resisted a blockade imposed by military forces led by an officer notorious for his past experience in counter-insurgency... ; and, the third paragraph has ... However, the more aggressive tactics of the MST allowed it to gather a capital of political legitimacy that soon outshone CONTAG, who was allowed .....
  • Perhaps the first paragraph would fit better in the previous section; and I believe that some of the current paragraphs about the MST should be moved from the first section to here (see comments about the first section).
  • Organizational structure -
  • Most of the second part of the first paragraph is unreferenced. It has various statements that appear to be contentious or open to challenge and so should be referenced.
  • The final sentence in the second paragraph is unreferenced.

I'm stopping the review at this point, and I'm going to an Overall summary. Pyrotec (talk) 11:11, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Overall summary[edit]

GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
    There are numerous problems with spelling and prose, particularly in the Earlier history of the land question in Brazil until the 1988 Constitution section. Some parts read like an essay.
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
    The Lead is non-compliant, and that was discussed as long ago as the Wikipedia:Peer review/Landless Workers' Movement/archive1, in April 2011.
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    This article is well referenced, and that is commendable.
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    This article is well referenced.
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused:
    The Earlier history of the land question in Brazil until the 1988 Constitution section is unfocused and it includes material that perhaps aught to be in the following History section and the two sections have some duplication.
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
    Some sections are non-compliant with WP:NPOV and were flagged as such back in July 2010. The flags were removed in this edit just after the article had been nominated at WP:GAN.
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content:
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:
    The article needs a good clean up and copy edit. Some sections appear to be fair reasonable, but others lack a neutral viewpoint and clarity.

In view of the numerous "problems" with this nomination, I don't believe that continuing this review in any further and then putting it On Hold to allow time for the "problems" to be addressed is the appropriate way forward. I suggest that this article is submitted for copyediting as the next step. The Lead, the first two sections and re-writting some sections to comply with WP:NPOV are the main problems that need to be addressed. Pyrotec (talk) 11:11, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Okay, I have read the review above and think it's quite good. Actually, I also think that the opening section is the main issue. My point, when i worked on it, was - and is - that the history of Brazilian land reform issues predates by at least one century the history of the MST and that the MST article would develop better by supporting itself on a larger article on the history of landed property and land reform movements in Brazil , which, however, despite the abundance of existing literary sources, remains a red link. Therefore, I shall have to do without. Thanks a lotCerme (talk) 16:14, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

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This review is transcluded from Talk:Landless Workers' Movement/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Delldot (talk · contribs) 16:11, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Starting review. delldot ∇. 16:11, 12 March 2013 (UTC)


Thank you for your hard work on this article, the subject is fascinating and the article covers it in depth. The referencing is great and it's clear that a lot of work has gone into this. Unfortunately I do not believe that the article yet merits good article status for a variety of reasons I outline below.

I share concerns with the previous reviewer: I also think the article reads like an essay. The article has not changed very much since the last review. The main problems I see at the first read through are with the writing and neutrality. I think the article needs a major copy edit, mainly because it is excessively wordy. The wordiness makes the article more difficult to read and understand, and also contributes to another problem: the article's excessive length.

I recommend getting a major copy edit from someone who owes you a favor on wiki. Or perhaps make a request at WP:LOCE. Simple writing is better. Check out User:Tony1/How_to_satisfy_Criterion_1a for advice on simplifying writing and removing excessive wordiness.

Like the previous reviewer, I am not convinced that the article stays on topic. As suggested at the end of the previous review, some of the material, e.g. background historical info in the Historical antecedents section, should be moved to a more pertinent article such as land reform in Brazil.

I also think articles should use words that the most people can understand where possible, and that concepts that are not going to be familiar to most casual readers should be explained in the prose.

I will go through and list some of the problems I see, but the points I bring up will not be a comprehensive list, because there are problems with wordiness and POV throughout the article. So fixing just the sentences I bring up will not make this article ready to be nominated again--rather these sentences should be taken as examples of problems to look for throughout the text. You can also look at some of my edits to get an idea of the simplification I'm suggesting.

Unclear sentences
  • These families which included part of 600 families that had previously been expropriated and dislocated in 1974 from neighbouring Passo Real for the construction of a hydroelectric dam[43] who had been joined by some other 300 families in an invasion of the Indian Reserve in Nonoai. - sentence fragment.
  • The MST appeared late in the already long history of the Brazilian land question, which had already been hotly debated (as well as actually fought) into the framework of previous Brazilian politics, especially amid the Left, who generally agreed to think of it as part of a late process of Bourgeois Revolution.' - Too long, not focused. This should be broken into more sentences.
  • The conclusion reached by Ms. Weinberg was such as the Brazilian government has no control over most of the schools, and that they do not follow the curriculum set forth by the Ministry of Education which calls for "pluralism of ideas" and "tolerance". - passive voice ("reached by") makes a sentence harder to follow.
  • Coming after various expressions of land activists' dissatisfaction with the slowing up of official projects for land reform during the Roussef government (2011 seeing the lowest number of officially settled families in 16 years), the occupation could be seen as parts of the widespread accusations of "selling out" thrown at Ms. Roussef from the Workers' Party support basis.
Explain unfamiliar concepts
  • This happened mostly by means of revitalizing ideologies[12] centered on a fabled, millenarian return an earlier, pre-bourgeois social order, as was the case in the 1890s Canudos War and the 1910s Contestado War. - these ideas need to be briefly explained in the text for the casual reader to have any idea what the article is saying. Linking is not enough because the reader would have to leave the article to read the other one.
  • dealing with the struggle for the land in purely political - instead of traditional and messianic - terms. - it's not clear what messianic means.
  • In capitalist terms, the continuation of such a policy favoured economies of scale by means of land concentration - explain "economies of scale" or just state in simple terms what is meant.
Sentences with NPOV problems
  • 'However, the more aggressive tactics of the MST allowed it to gather a capital of political legitimacy that soon outshone CONTAG, who was allowed to linger a shadowy existence as a mere rural branch to the trade union central CUT,[2] while MST monopolized political attention as overall rural workers' representative. - too long, language too flowery, offers commentary
  • an alternative ideology to "modernizing" agrobusiness - scare quotes often make for POV writing
  • According to MST's ideologues, the allgedly efficiency gained by this arrangement was by no means general, as since 1850 Brazilian landed property management was tied to the particular interests of a single class - the rural bourgeoisie. - "alleged" also often makes for POV writing
  • From the 1980s until today, the MST hasn't enjoyed a monopoly of land occupations, many of which are carried out by a host of grassroots organizations (dissidents from the MST, trade unions, informal coalitions of land workers); however, it is the MST who is by far the most organized group dealing in occupations, enjoying political leverage enough to turn occupation into formal expropriation for public purposes: already in 1995, out of 198 occupations carried out, 89 (45%) were organized by the MST, but these included 20,500 (65%) out of the grand total of 31,400 families involved. - I don't think the article can comment that the group is "by far the most organized". this sentence is also way too long and unfocused. It is also repetitive, e.g. using "enjoy" multiple times. 'Hasn't' should be 'has not'.
  • This is an important strategy of the MST and serves to maintain an ongoing and direct flow of communication between member-families and their representatives. Coordinators - again, the article can't offer commentary on whether a strategy is important.
  • 'Some scholars agree that these MST communal schools tend to be markedly better than its conventional counterparts in rural communities, in both quantitative and qualitative terms. - see WP:WEASEL for reasons why "some scholars" is problematic. there's also a singular-plural agreement issue here. Also, what does quantitatively better mean?
  • known for its militant hostility against social grassroots movements in general - this is not usually how 'militant' is used, unless they're more than just a paper.
  • The whole paragraph beginning The role of the MST as a grassroots organization has POV problems, displaying an overtly hostile attitude toward that journalist's piece.
  • Repression to the movement's activities continues unabated as of today - we can't call this repression.
Overly wordy, flowery
  • The novelty at the MST's emergence resided in its from the start playing the role of taking unto itself the task of…

I think that after a major copy edit and check for POV issues this article will be quite good. Sections like 'Organizational structure' and 'Education' are clear and have minimal problems (some of which I've pointed out here). Please feel free to respond to any of the points above or ask questions about anything I've put here. I'm happy to help with the article as you continue to work to improve it, just ask. I'm going to fail this article for now so it can receive the major copy edit I'm recommending. I look forward to seeing how it turns out! Thanks again for all the effort you've put in. delldot ∇. 17:43, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ About the MST on mstbrazil.org. Accessed September 9, 2006.
  2. ^ Cf. the description offered by the Trotskyist review International Viewpoint, in the article by João Machado, "The two souls of the Lula government", March 2003 issue (IV348), available at [10]