Ruralista is Convicted of Killing Landless in Paraná

Friday, November 22, 2013

In an historic trial, a jury sentenced ruralista Mark Prochet to 15 years and nine months in prison for second degree murder, resorting to400 assassinations the defense that the victim was indefensible and had concealed other crimes. The trial ended around 10:00 pm and was attended by over 200 people in the 2nd Circuit Court in Curitiba, Paraná.

The widow and son of Sebastião Camargo, murdered 15 years ago, attended the entire trial. For Cesar Venture Camargo, son of the victim, the decision is a belated response: "It will not bring my father back, but he [Prochet] will have to pay a bit for what he did." The Camargo family is settled in Ramilandia, in the western region of Parana.

“After 15 years, two miscarriages [of justice] and two postponements of bringing the case to the jury, the conviction of Mark Prochet is a landmark in Paraná justice" affirmed Darci Frigo, coordinator of Terra de Direitos [Land Rights]. To Frigo, the condemnation of the Brazilian state in the Organization of American States (OAS) for the crime decisively contributed to today's result.

" height="1" width="1">After conviction in the OAS, the Sebastião Camargo case was then accompanied by the Justiça Plena (Full Justice) program that monitors and gives transparency to the ongoing processes of great social impact.

The trial was marked by interruptions and accusations of procedural impediments by the defense lawyer, Robert Brzezinski Neto. The judge who presided over the case, Leonardo Bechara Stancioli arrived asking for the list of the positions of the lawyer in minutes.

Roberto Brzezinski Neto is one of the lawyers of former deputy Carli Filho accused of double murder, when he hit someone at 120 miles per hour. The defense had already gotten the postponement of the trial of the defendant twice, in November 2012 and in February this year.

In order to defend Mark Prochet, counsel accused Firmino Borracha in the death of the landless worker. Firmino Borracha has already been convicted of killing Eduardo Anghinone in 1999. Prochet testified at the trial of Borracha and gave statements claiming the innocence of the gunman.

Others involved

In November 2012, two people were convicted of involvement in the crime: Teissin Tina, former owner of Boa Sorte farm, where the farmer was killed, was sentenced to six years in prison for simple murder; and Osnir Sanches, sentenced to 13 years in prison for murder and establishment of private security company, used to recruit thugs and run illegal evictions.

On February 4 this year, the third defendant, Augusto Barbosa da Costa, accused of involvement in the murder case was tried and acquitted by the jury. Most jurors acknowledged the effective and conscious participation of the defendant in the crime, carrying firearms and adhering to the same behavior as others present in the eviction, but still voted for acquittal.

In July this year, the Public Ministry [prosecutor] of Paraná also accused the ruralista Tarcisio Barbosa de Souza, president of the Land Commission of the Federation of Agriculture of the State of Paraná (FAEP), linked to the National Confederation of Agriculture (CNA) of suspicion of involvement in the crime. The ruralista is former treasurer of the Rural Democratic Union (UDR) [right wing landowners’ party] and former councilman in Paranavaí of the Democrata Party (DEM) [right wing political party].

Understanding the case

Sebastião Camargo was killed during an illegal eviction in the city of Marilena, in the northwest of the state, which involved about 30 gunmen. Besides the murder of Camargo, 17 people, including children, were injured.

The crime is part of the scene of great violence in the countryside experienced during the period of the government of Jaime Lerner in Paraná, where approximately 16 landless workers were murdered.