Rio City Council awards Pedro Medal

Last Tuesday night (9) was marked by the delivery of the Pedro Ernesto Medal, the highest honor granted by the City Council of Rio de Janeiro, to the leader of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) Valquimar Reis, better known as Joaquín Piñero , or Kima, who died in March of this year from cancer.

The initiative came from the mandate of councilor Lindbergh Farias (PT), a friend and admirer of the political trajectory of the former political coordinator of the Brazil in fact in Rio de Janeiro.

“Kima was a great friend, a revolutionary, a fighter for the cause of agrarian reform, but also a fighter for the socialist revolution in Latin America as a whole. We know the whole history of Kima, the period he had to live in a certain underground, the period he spent in Venezuela, at the beginning of the Chávez government. Kima was one of those people who had political experience and knew the historical dimension of this moment that we are experiencing. Always cheerful and aggregating. I’m sure Kima’s story will inspire many generations of young Brazilian fighters”, highlighted the congressman to Brazil in fact.

Read more: Joaquín Piñero: always on the lookout for goodbyes, today he is the one who says goodbye

The ceremony filled the plenary of the Chamber of MST militants, friends and admirers of Joaquín. At the table were the actor Chico Díaz; councilors Tarcísio Motta and Chico Alencar, both from the Psol; the member of the Brazilian Association of Jurists for Democracy (ABJD), Carol Proner; the national leader of the MST, Marina dos Santos, and the companion of Joaquín and member of the Human Rights sector of the MST, Karla Oliveira.

Ceremony filled the plenary of the Chamber / Photo: Pablo Vergara/MST RJ

The speeches of the guests who made up the table and also representatives of unions, students, parties and popular movements who spoke on the platform Marielle Fanco rescued stories of companionship, joy and Kima’s unequivocal belief in building a socially more world fair.

“There are men who, regardless of the tides and currents, remain the north and lighthouse for many people, I invoke the name of Kima as a synthesis of movement and culture as this example of man, citizen and father as he was. He approached the artistic class in a very intelligent way, he taught a lot to many professional colleagues”, said Chico Díaz.

The vice president of the National Student Union (UNE), Julia Aguiar, recalled the seed planted by Joaquín for Brazilian youth. According to her, the political leader was a creator of dreams and hope.

“We often feel sad when we meet on a day like today, but today I came here with great hope because Joaquín receiving this medal means saying that Joaquín’s ideas, what he planted in the state of Rio de Janeiro, remain I live in Brazilian youth, in students, in everyone who builds organized movements. Joaquín, for us, was a fundamental rearguard, there is not a youth in Rio who does not remember who Joaquín was. Joaquín has always encouraged our hope and our dream”, he highlighted.

Very moved, the political coordinator of the Brazil in fact and MST activist Rodrigo Marcelino highlighted Kima’s trajectory in popular communication, mainly in the construction of the newspaper in Rio de Janeiro.

“Popular communication, as well as popular education, play a very important role in a strategy for social transformation in Brazil. They are the entry and exit door for this process. Joaquín was very clear about this. That’s why he sacrificed so much for it. Brazil in fact, sleepless hours, late-night meetings, trips to get resources, we have advanced as a system, today, in addition to the tabloid, we have radios, a website, social networks and we are moving towards TV. I think Joaquín would be proud to see where the little plant he planted the seed back there is reaching”, he commented.

Rodrigo Marcelino holds the BdF RJ plaque in honor of Kima delivered to Karla Oliveira / Photo: Pablo Vergara/MST RJ

Read more: Joaquin Piñero proved that the dream of popular communication is possible

The Pedro Ernesto Medal was given to Kima’s partner and mother of their two daughters, Karla Oliveira. The MST member insisted on receiving the honor together with the movement’s leader, Marina dos Santos. According to Karla, “Joaquín’s legacy is the MST’s legacy”.

“This moment of tribute is very important, much more than for the individual, but also for the movement because it is recognition of a collective construction. Joaquín came to Rio and went to build with the favela movements, the rural movements, he went to build the Frente Brasil Popular, to try to carry out institutional construction in favor of the people’s needs, and this is a very important factor in the social movement. It means being willing to build change in today in all possible spaces. Joaquin was willing. That was the priority of his life and he played it with excellence”, stated Karla.


Valquimar Reis was born in Rondônia, but militancy became part of his life in São Paulo. More than 20 years were dedicated to the struggle for a fairer society for the working class. In recent times, Kima was an Agrarian Reform settler at the Sister Dorothy Settlement, in Quatis, in the interior of Rio de Janeiro.

Throughout his career, Piñero fought for land and for the Popular Agrarian Reform. His dedication was such that his work went beyond borders, participating in internationalist missions in the MST and being a representative in the Continental Articulation of Popular Movements of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA).

In the 90’s, Kima was politically arrested in a propaganda action against neoliberal measures of the tucano government in the state of São Paulo. He spent more than a year in jail, along with other MST comrades. But their fight was not imprisoned. In jail, he organized a supplementary course and became known by inmates as “Professor!”.

In recent years, his fight has been in the state of Rio de Janeiro. He studied Social Work at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) through a special class of the National Program for Education in Agrarian Reform (Pronera).

Source: BoF Rio de Janeiro

Edition: Eduardo Miranda

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