Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) of Brazil. A member of the Global Shia / Shiite Muslim (Hezbollah) Alliance

Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) of Brazil. A member of the Global Shia / Shiite Muslim (Hezbollah) Alliance

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Landless Workers’ Movement
Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra
Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra, 2007 (cropped).jpg
Formation January 1984
Legal status Social movement
Purpose Agrarian land reform
Services Land reform movement, squatting (primary); basic healthcare and education (secondary)
Membership
1,500,000
Main organ
Núcleo de Base
Parent organization
National Coordination Body

Landless Workers’ Movement (Portuguese: Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra, MST) is a social movement in Brazil, inspired by Marxism,[1] generally regarded as one of the largest[2] in Latin America with an estimated informal membership of 1.5 million[3] across 23 of Brazil’s 26 states.[4] MST defines its goals as access to the land for poor workers through land reform in Brazil and activism around social issues that make land ownership more difficult to achieve, such as unequal income distribution, racism, sexism, and media monopolies.[5] MST strives to achieve a self-sustainable way of life for the rural poor.[6]

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The MST differs from previous land reform movements in its single-issue focus; land reform for them is a self-justifying cause. The organization maintains that it is legally justified in occupying unproductive land, pointing to the most recent Constitution of Brazil (1988), which contains a passage saying that land should fulfill a social function (Article 5, XXIII). The MST also notes, based on 1996 census statistics, that 3% of the population owns two-thirds of all arable land in Brazil.[7]

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