Brazil: Brazil: assesination of a rural worker and disclosure of a list of persons to be killed
Case BRA 170903 ESCR
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Murder of landless peasants / list of persons to be killed
The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Brazil.
Brief description of the situation
The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by a reliable source that a reward has been offered for the murder of 8 persons and a list detailing the names of these persons has been released in the north eastern region of the Parana State, Brazil. Francisco Nascimento de Souza, a rural worker whose name appears on the list was killed on August 3rd 2003.
According to information received, the list was prepared during a meeting of 'fazendeiros' (landowners) that took place in Campo Mourao (Parana State) on April 21st 2003 . A reward of 8,000 to 10,000 reals (about 3,000 USD) has been offered for the murder of each person whose name appears on the list. Father Roque Zimmermann, who is the State Secretary for the Employment, Work and Social Promotion and also President of the Special Commission for Land Issues, has disclosed the existence of this list following the murder of Francisco Nascimento de Souza.
The body of Francisco Nascimento de Souza was found along a road, by Cicero Luis Dos Santos, at 8:00 am on August 4th 2003. Francisco Nascimento de Souza, a 27 year old rural worker with 4 children, lived in Nossa Senhora Aparecida village in the municipality of Mariluz (80 km from Campo Mourao, Parana State). He was shot while driving home with his motorbike after a meeting with friends in the city of Mariluz. The police sent his body to the medico-legal Institute of Cruzeiro do Oeste, where it was revealed that he had been shot in the head and that his body showed signs of torture. Francisco Nascimento de Souza was named on the list, along with 7 other people and a reward had been offered for his murder. The disclosure of the existence of the list appears to confirm of the involvement of fazendeiros (landowners) in the murder.
OMCT is gravely concerned about the safety of the 7 other persons who have been named on the list and for whose murder a reward has been offered. These persons are: Angelo Costa Quintanilho, Luis Alves, Paulo Sergio de Souza, Carlos Cartucho, Joao CBT and Paulo Carrero, and Jose Damasceno.
The dissemination of the list, along with the murder of Francisco Nascimento de Souza occurred against the background of ongoing tension between the large landowners and landless persons in Parana. Private militia, organized by fazendeiros (landowners), are inciting violence against rural workers or landless peasants who try to occupy unutilised lands.
There have been numerous episodes of violence in the municipality of Mariluz in the last few years and in March 2003, the Premier Commando Rural (PCR), a militia organised by fazendeiros (landowners) was created and began to operate in this municipality. The PCR gets its inspiration from the Premier Commando of the Capital (PCC), a militia that spreads fear and terror in diverse regions of Brazil with the engagement of militia action against the landless peasants.
The fazendeiros (landowners) have accused the government of failing to take sufficient action to ensure the return of their lands. They have also reiterated their intention to use force to repress the landless peasants through the PCR, the National Trade Union of Rural Producers (SINAPRO), the Rural Democratic Union (UDR) and the Agriculture Federation of Parana State (FAEP).
Please write to the authorities in Brazil urging them to:
i. take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of the 7 persons who have been named on the list and for whose murder a reward has been offered, i.e. Angelo Costa Quintanilho, Luis Alves, Paulo Sergio de Souza, Carlos Cartucho, Joao CBT and Paulo Carrero, and Jose Damasceno;
ii. guarantee an immediate investigation into the circumstances and causes of Mr. Francisco Nascimento do Souza’s murder, identify those responsible, bring them before a competent and impartial tribunal and apply the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions provided by law;
iii. guarantee adequate reparation to Mr. Francisco Nascimento do Souza’s family;
iv. take all necessary measures to control the activities of militia operating in the State of Parana, such as the PCR (Premier Commando Rural);
v. guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms, including economic, social and cultural rights throughout the country in accordance with international human rights standards.
· S.E. Dr. Lula da Silva, Presidente da República, Presidencia da República, Praça dos Três Poderes, Palácio do Planalto, 3. Andar, 70.150-900 - Brasília - DF. Brasil. Fax: ( +55 61) 223 06 64 o 322 23 14. E-mail : email@example.com
· S.E. Márcio Thomaz Bastos, Ministro da Justiça, Ministério da Justiça, Esplanada dos Ministérios, bloco T, 4. Andar, 70.064-900 - Brasília - DF. Brasil. Fax : ( +55 61) 322 68 17. E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
· Dr.Nilmário Miranda, Secretario de Estado de Direitos Humanos do Ministerio da Justicia, Esplanada dos Ministérios, Bl. T Ed. Sede- Sala 420 – 70064-900, Brasília-DF. Fax : (+55 61) 226 798
· Special Human Rights Secretary, Exmo. Sr. Secretario Especial dos Direitos Humanos
Sr. Nilmario Miranda, Secretaria Especial dos Direitos Humanos
Esplanada dos Ministérios - Bl. T, 70721-902 - Brasilia D.F, Brasil
Fax: + 55 61 223 2260
Please also write to the embassies of Brazil in your respective country.
Geneva, September 17, 2003
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.