Another MST activist is murdered in Campos dos Goytacazes (RJ)

Dona ReginaThe murder of the rural farmer Regina occurs eleven days after the execution of Cicero Guedes dos Santos, 48, leader of the MST in Campos dos Goytacazes (RJ)

Strong women have always contributed to the militancy of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) and the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) in Rio de Janeiro. This is how the state secretary of the MST describes the rural producer, Regina dos Santos Pinho, 56, murdered in the settlement Zumbi dos Palmares. Without any contact with the neighborhood since Sunday (February 3, 2013), her body was found only on Wednesday (February 6, 2013).

"It is a barbaric crime. We want to emphasize the level of brutality of this murder and the motivations that this brutality elucidated. In principle, we see no direct relationship with the land struggle and the murder of Cicero. But we cannot rule anything out nor affirm anything," said the leader of the MST, Marina dos Santos.

The murder of Regina occurs eleven days after the execution of Cicero Guedes dos Santos, 48, leader of the MST in Campos dos Goytacazes (RJ). Regina was found in his home with a red scarf tied around his neck and half naked.

"It was a brutal death. We still have no details, but indications are that it was a crime of sexual violence. However, it is an irreparable loss and this crime should be investigated with total thoroughness" declared a statement issued yesterday by the state secretariat.

As the delegate from Precinct 146, Carlos Augusto Guimarães, a crime of robbery (robbery followed by death) is discarded, as money and valuables were found in the house of the victim. Guimarães considers the hypothesis that it what has occurred is a sexual offense or that the death was motivated by disputes over land. "We do not rule out a sexual crime and the issue involving the land problem. There are neither signs of struggle nor marks of blood near the body, which was in an advanced state of decomposition," he said.

Regina participated in the MST for a decade. The police were contacted by neighbors who were surprised at the absence of the militant at the mass of Sétimo Dia de Cícero Guedes, held on Monday (February 4, 2013). Regina and Cicero were very close and both worked on agroecology in the Zumbi of Palmares settlement. She was last seen on Sunday, when she returned to the settlement from a motorbike ride. The driver has not been identified. According to neighbors, Regina lived alone and had no enemies.

"I was informed that she returned on Sunday from a beach ride with a man, still unidentified, and had offered fuel in exchange for a ride. Nobody here knows nor has information about the motorbike, nor which beach this was, but we will investigate everything," said the delegate Guimarães.

The crime scene was investigated and the report of the technical police, with the determination of the cause of death, should be ready in the next 15 days.

On January 26, Cicero Guedes was murdered with over ten shots on a dirt road near the BR-356, which connects Campos dos Goytacazes to São João da Barra. The public official José Renato Gomes de Abreu, 45, was arrested on February 1, 2013, and charged with the murder of Cicero. The Civil Police reported that he intended to take the lead of the settlement, with support from drug dealers who participate nearby.

Vivian Virissimo,
from Campos dos Goytacazes (RJ)