Activists seek redress for Amazon massacre
On May 24, ten peasants were killed in a police raid in Pau D'Arco,
Published in 06/07/2017 - 10:17 By Vladimir Platonow reports from Agência Brasil - Rio de Janeiro
The killing of ten peasants in a police raid in Pau D'Arco, an Amazon region in Pará state, on May 24 must not be forgotten or go unpunished, relatives of the victims and movement leaders monitoring the case said during a public session at the Rio de Janeiro chapter headquarters of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB).
“We have a history of denial of the reality, the State or powerful landowners are never held to account. At best, the gunmen get punished,” said the counsel of the Poor Campesino League of Pará, Felipe Nicolau.
According to him, “what happened there was definitely a massacre. Many victims were tortured. Police acted to kill. There are local rumors that landowners are conspiring to intimidate land occupations.” Police officers claim the peasants had opened fire at them first, but expert examiners found no signs of bullet wounds in the military men or holes in their vehicles.
Among the ten people killed by police was Ronaldo Pereira de Souza. His wife Sterfa da Silva Gonçalves, 25, became a widow when her baby was only 29 days old. She wants justice so she can move on.
“My life is a mess, he was the one I could lean on. I'm at the mercy of God now, but we won't give up the place. I'm not giving up. My family was nearly destroyed, it was a huge tragedy,” she mourns as she admits living in fear because she cannot trust the police to protect her.
A documentary called “Terra e Sangue – Bastidores do Massacre de Pau D'Arco” (“Earth and Blood—Behind the scenes of the Pau D'Arco Massacre” in a direct translation) was screened as part of the event. The director, Patrick Granja, went to the scene of the massacre four days after it happened to shoot images and gather testimonies.
Translated by Mayra Borges
Fonte: Activists seek redress for Amazon massacre
Edition: Fábio Massalli / Olga Bardawil
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