EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 19/31/92
UA 368/92 Possible Extrajudicial Execution 24 November 1992
BRAZIL: Jean Alves da Cunha, aged 13
Amnesty International is concerned about the killing of Jean Alves da Cunha
between 11 and 13 November 1992 in Vitoria, capital of Espirito Santo state,
in circumstances suggesting official involvement.
On 11 October he and five other street children were detained by four Comisarios
da Justica da Crianca e Adolescente, Justice Officials attached to the Juvenile
Court. They were questioned and released that afternoon. According to the
other five street children, the justice officials returned and detained only
Jean Alves da Cunha at about 8pm that evening. He was never seen alive again.
On the 13 November his body was found dumped on a hill in the city, with two
shots in the head, one through his ear. A forensic specialist examining the
body has affirmed that he believed it to have been a professional killing.
Thirteen year-old Jean Alves da Cunha lived on the streets of Vitoria. He was
a leader in the Movimento Nacional de Meninos e Meninas da Rua, National Movement
of Street Boys and Girls, and was preparing himself and other child delegates
to attend the Movement's Third National Congress in Brasilia 19-22 November.
At a preparatory meeting on 6 November Jean made a recording denouncing the
difficulties of street children trying to reform themselves and break out of
a cycle of crime. In particular he mentioned how police put pressure on them
to commit crimes, and share the proceeds of these crimes with them. He expressed
fears for his own safety because of having made these allegations.
Amnesty International is increasingly concerned about violence against and
killings of street children in large cities in Brazil. Federal Police recorded
4,611 killings of children and adolescents in Brazil between 1988 and 1990.
In February 1992 a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry published its finding
on 'The Extermination of Minors' and concluded that the participation of civil
and military police in the killings of children and adolescents was "far from
exceptional" and that police killings were the third highest cause of homicide
of children and adolescents. According to the National Street Boys and Girls
Movement there have been 23 killings of children and adolescents in the city
of Vitoria (population 256,000) during 1992.
RECOMMENDED ACTIONS: Please send telegrams/ telexes/ faxes and airmail letters
in Portuguese, English or your own language:
- expressing concern at the killing of Jean Alves da Cunha on 12 November 1992