Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Monday commemorated the sharp reduction in land invasions in Brazil since he took office on January 1, and attributed it in part to his government's decision to facilitate the carrying of arms in the country.
The president, in a message posted on his Twitter account, reported that, according to data from the National Institute of Agrarian Reform (INCRA), the number of invasions of haciendas in Brazil by landless peasants fell from 43 in the first quarter last year until only one in the first three months of 2019.
"The Movement of the Landless (MST) is weaker because of the facilitation of the carrying of arms, an initiative that the Government will reinforce with other measures," assured the right-wing leader in his message.
The MST, an active organization that claims to represent millions of landless peasants in Brazil, promotes massive invasions of unproductive haciendas as a method to pressure the government to accelerate its agrarian reform projects.
The organization, which Bolsonaro came to describe as a terrorist, has important ties with the leftist Workers' Party (PT), the formation led by former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and who governed Brazil between 2003 and 2016.
According to Bolsonaro, in addition to the decree that facilitated the carrying of arms, the MST was also weakened by his government's decision not to finance its activities with public resources.
According to the Head of State, in the PT governments in Brazil, the MST was financed not only with public funds but also with resources from some non-governmental organizations.
The far-right leader, who was elected last October with strong support from the large rural landowners, has adopted different measures in favor of the landowners.
Bolsonaro, captain of the reserve of the Army and leader of the extreme right in Brazil, is a fervent defender of the possession of arms and last January signed a decree through which he facilitated his purchase for civilians, thus fulfilling one of his promises of Bell.
Last week the president indicated that "other decrees" related to weapons "will come" later and that he also plans to present a "bill" on the subject, although he did not specify anything.
Bolsonaro argues that greater access to weapons by the civilian population guarantees "the right of self-defense," a position that has been harshly criticized by human rights organizations that warn that the more weapons circulate, the higher the rates of violence .
Brazil has registered an average of 60,000 violent deaths per year in recent years, making it one of the countries in the world most affected by this problem.
Despite this, according to a report released last week by the Pastoral Land Commission, an agency linked to the Episcopate of the Catholic Church in Brazil, murders by conflicts in the country in the country fell by 60.5% in the last year, from 71 in 2017 to 28 in 2018.
It was the first decline since 2013, the year after which violent deaths in the Brazilian countryside were rising successively until reaching its peak in 2017, when up to five massacres were registered.