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UA 122/94 - Brazil: arbitrary detention / fear of ill-treatment: Francisco de Asis Pinto do Nascimento, Eldorado do Carajas, Salvador Murao de Souza, Estevao Alberto Rocha da Silva, Manoel Privado, Francisco Sousa Lacerdo, Alziro Jose Ferreira, Raimundo F

, Index number: AMR 19/007/1994

The people listed above were arrested by military police on 21 March 1994 during a raid on two communities in the municipality of Eldorado do Carajas. AI is concerned that the arrests may be part of a pattern of continuing harassment of rural workers and their representatives in the context of a local land dispute. There have been allegations that the first three men named above have been ill-treated in detention.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 19/07/94
Distr: UA/SC
UA 122/94 Arbitrary detention / Fear of ill-treatment 28 March 1994
BRAZILFrancisco de Asis Pinto DO NASCIMENTO, director of the Rural Workers'
Trade Union of Eldorado do Carajás
Estevão Alberto ROCHA DA SILVA
Alziro José FERREIRA,
Raimundo Francisco DO NASCIMENTO
Lindomar GOMES
and three minors (names unknown) - all rural workers
On 21 March 1994, the 13 rural workers listed above were arrested by military
police during a raid on two communities in the municipality of Eldorado do
Carajás. Amnesty International is concerned that the arrests may be part of
a continuing pattern of harassment against rural workers and their
representatives in the context of disputed land in the region. The
organization's fears that the detainees may be ill-treated have been heightened
by allegations that the first three men named above have been beaten.
Some 50 military police were reportedly involved in the raid on the communities
of Agua-Fria and Pedra Furada, home to 150 families of rural workers. The
10 adults who were detained have been transferred to the Regional Police Station
in Marabá, where Francisco de Asis Pinto do Nascimento, Salvador Murao de Souza
and Estevão Alberto Rocha da Silva were allegedly beaten by military police.
Lawyers are seeking a medical examination for the three, and for the results
to be made public. It is believed that the three unnamed minors are being
held under the supervision of the judiciary in the town of Curionópolis.
The ten adults have been charged with "invading" the Abaeté estate, which borders
their land. They deny the charge. Some were reportedly detained whilst using
a public right of way which links the town of Eldorado with their own land,
and passes through the Abaeté estate.
One of the detainees, Alziro José Ferreira, is the son of Arnaldo Delcidio
Ferreira, who, when President of the Rural Workers Trade Union of Eldorado
do Carajás, was shot dead by a hired gunman on 2 May 1993. The owner of the
Abaeté estate was charged with commissioning his killing and detained in July
1993. In September 1993 he was released from custody and has since gone into
Another director of the Rural Workers Trade Union of Eldorado do Carajás, José
Teixeira Castilho, son-in-law of Arnaldo Delcidio Ferreira, has been in
detention without charge in the Regional Police Station of Marabá since 10
February (see UA 80/94, AMR 19/06/94, 2 March 1994). He has been accused,
though not charged, with involvement in a incident in which the ranch house
of the Abaeté estate was burned down.
Peasants members and leaders of rural trade unions in Pará state have been
targets of death threats, assaults, abductions and killing in the context of
land disputes with local landowners. While Amnesty International takes no
position on land disputes, the organization is concerned at persistent impunity
for killings of trade unionists which has in turn left them increasingly
vulnerable to attacks on their lives. Brazilian authorities have at all levels,
in the vast majority of cases, failed to take effective action to prevent or
investigate these killings or bring those responsible to justice. At the same
time state police forces have participated, sometimes alongside gunmen, in
violent evictions of peasants from land they claim. On many occasions this
has involved arbitrary detention, ill-treatment and sometimes torture. Many
complaints of this nature have been made against police forces based in the
town of Marabá.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in Portuguese, English or in your own language:
- expressing concern at reports that three of the ten detainees arrested on
21 March in Eldorado do Carajás and currently held in the Regional Police Station
of Marabá in Pará state, have been beaten;
- seeking clarification as to where the three minors detained at the same time
are being held, and on what grounds;
- urging that the physical integrity of all 13 detainees is respected, and
that any complaints of ill-treatment are thoroughly investigated;
- asking for clarification of any charges against the detainees;
- urging the authorities to take concrete measures to ensure that trade unionists
in Pará state are able to freely exercise their internationally recognized
rights to freedom of association.
(All Salutations : Vossa Excelência/ Your Excellency)
1) Attorney General for Pará State
Dra Edite Marília Crespo
Procuradoria De Justiça do Estado do Pará
Praça Felipe Patroni
66.000 Belém, PA, Brazil
Faxes: + 55 91 224 7198
Telegrams: Procurador Crespo, Belem, Brazil
2) State Governor of Pará
Exmo Sr Jader Barbalho
Governador do Estado do Pará
Av Augusto Monte Negro/ KM 09
66.823-010 Belém, PA, Brazil
Telegrams : Governador Pará, Belém, Brazil
Telexes : 9111012 GOPA BR or 916978 GOPA BR
Faxes : + 55 91 222 3910
3. Minister of Justice
Exmo Sr Mauricio Corrêa
Ministro da Justiça
Ministério de Justiça
Esplanada dos Ministérios, Bloco 23
70.064 Brasília DF, Brazil
Telegrams : Ministro da Justiça, Brasília, Brazil
Faxes : +55 61 224 4357
Telexes : 611003 MNJU BR, 611088 MNJU BR
President of the Pará State Appeals Court
Exmo Sr Presidente
Tribunal de Justiça do Pará
Praça Felipe Patroni s/n
66.000 Belém, PA, Brazil
Faxes : + 55 91 241 2970
Attorney General's Office
Dr. Alvaro Ribeiro da Costa
Procuradoria Geral da República
Avenida L2 Sul, SG AS 603, Lote 23, S 328
70.200 Brasília, Brazil
Faxes : + 55 61 313 5444
Local human rights organization
Sociedade Paraense de Defesa dos Direitos Humanos
Rua 5 de Abril
Caixa Postal 277
68.500 Marabá, PA, Brazil
and to diplomatic representatives of Brazil accredited to your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 9 May 1994.

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