[MST Alert 06-24-09]Trial of Colonel Who Commanded the Massacre of Carajás Is Postponed

The trial of the colonel of the Military Police of Pará who commanded the massacre of Eldorado de Carajás, Mário Pantoja de Oliveira, has been postponed once again. The postponement was granted by the Minister of STJ Laurita Vaz. In 2002, Pantoja was sentenced to 228 years imprisonment by jury trial in Belem. The crime was committed in 1996 and left 19 workers dead. The colonel's lawyers seek the annulment of the conviction, allowing Pantoja to wait for the trial for annulment in freedom. Gean Álvares, a lawyer who works with a nationwide network of peoples lawyers in Pará, explains that there are more opportunities to seek further postponements. However, the colonel's defense lawyers can still able to resort to other legal tactics. "The expectation of the Brazilian society and world is that those responsible are punished by the facts. There is a disappointment for the long period in which it is imperative to impunity, but the entities [social] will continue monitoring and conducting a campaign for that specific feature in the STJ is denied. While there is no hearing, there is no punishment." No specific date for a new trial has been set. The lawyer believes, however, that the hearing of colonel’s request for annulment will be later this year. Besides Pantoja, Major José Maria de Oliveira was also convicted for the massacre. He also has application in STJ and expects to be judged while reaming in freedom. All other 155 police who participated in the massacre were acquitted. From São Paulo, the Radioagência NP, Aline Scarso.