REPORT: Human Rights Committee attributes increased violence in the countryside to state neglect

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
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Página do MST - Edited by Maura Silva

Open letter of the Brazilian Committee of Human Rights Defenders affirms that the public power stopped acting to prevent deaths and murders previously announced

After meeting between September 13 and 15 in Brasilia, during the event Frontiers of Struggle: Third National Seminar on Protection of Human Rights Defenders, the Brazilian Committee of Human Rights Defenders, composed of civil society organizations, leadership and social movements issued an open letter to society, to warn about the aggravation of violence against rural populations, peasants, indigenous, quilombolas, fishermen, in the last year.

According to the document, solely in 2017, there were "62 murders and numerous accusations of threats, attacks and intimidations against leaders and activists". Among the cases, it cites the Pau D'Arco massacre in the state of Pará in May, the Colniza massacre in Mato Grosso, and the attack on the Gamela people in Maranhão, both in April.

The Committee attributes the increase in violence to "the situation of dismantling public policies by the federal government and the approval of a set of laws that confirm the project of abandonment and violence in relation to the rights of the population." In this sense, it considers the 'prior identification of these serious conflicts' an important step to avoid the occurrence of new deaths and massacres.

The document also reports 15 situations of deaths announced in Brazil in 2017, previously denounced by human rights organizations and which nevertheless occurred as a result of the negligence and often the collusion with the public power.

Attached is the full letter of the Open Letter of the Brazilian Committee of Human Rights Defenders.