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UA 362/92 - Brazil: possible extrajudicial execution / threats: Jorge Antonio de Oliveira Filho and others working with street children

, Index number: AMR 19/030/1992

The body of Jorge Antonio de Oliveira Filho, a 20-year-old educator of street children in Rio de Janeiro, was officially identified on 12 November 1992. The director of the organization he worked for, the Brazilian Institute for Innovations in Social Health (IBISS) identified it in the city morgue. It had apparently been brought there on 6 November, the day after he was last seen alive. The police said the body had been found alone in a car and the official autopsy stated that he had died in a car accident. Jorge Antonio had no driving licence as he could not drive. The body reportedly bore marks which looked as if they had been caused by beating. IBISS is one of several organizations working with street children which has been receiving threats since September 1992.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 19/30/92
Distr: UA/SC
Please bring this action to the person responsible for outreach work in your section as
it is felt that appeals from school children, teachers and social workers would be
particularly useful.
UA 362/92 Possible Extrajudicial Execution/Threats 20 November 1992
BRAZIL: Jorge Antonio de Oliveira Filho, aged 20, street children worker
and other street children workers
Amnesty International is concerned at the death in suspicious circumstances of Jorge António
de Oliveira Filho, and at a reported wave of death threats to people like him, working
on the streets with street children in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Jorge António de Oliviera Filho, who had been working as an 'educador de rua' street educator,
with the organisation Instituto Brasileiro de Inovaçoes em Saude Social, IBISS, the Brazilian
Institute for Innovations in Social Health, for two and a half years was last seen alive
on 5 November 1992 when on his way to catch a bus to the centre of town. His body was identified
by the director of IBISS on 12 November in the city morgue; it had not been shown to him
in the morgue on 11 November, although it had officially been brought there on 6 November.
The neck and cranium were broken, but some of the marks on the body apparently looked
as if they had been caused by beating with an iron bar. The autopsy report stated that
the youth had been killed in a car accident. The body had, said police, been found alone
in a car in a city suburb. Jorge António de Oliveira Filho had no licence and did not
know how to drive. The 35th district police station from which the body had been collected
by morgue officials has so far been unable or unwilling to produce an official record of
the case.
In September 1992 IBISS was one of several non-governmental organizations which received
an anonymous letter in the name of "cleaning up the streets of Rio and Baixada Fluminense",
(a suburb) "pela limpeza das ruas do Rio e Baixada". The letter stated that unless two
named non-governmental representatives were not withdrawn from the Conselho Estadual de
Defesa da Crianca e Adolescente, State Council for the Defence of Children and Adolescents,
"two street children would be killed every day in Rio de Janeiro" "ira morrer dois pivetes
por dia no Rio e Baixada" and "strange things would happen inside the organizations that
protect these bandits" and "members of the council or their family members would suffer
accidents at any moment". "Comessara a acontecer coisas sem explicação nas entidades que
protegem estes pivetes marginais e qualquer membro deste conselho e suas familias poderão
ser vitimas a qualquer momento de um accidente."
Street educators visit groups of children sleeping in the streets and work with them to
provide alternatives to crime and glue-sniffing, teaching them, playing with them, and
organizing them to have other means of subsistence. These street educators are often the
only people able to witness, denounce or prevent assaults on street children by uniformed
police or their abduction by vigilante death squads. Jorge António de Oliveira Filho had
himself grown up on the streets of Rio and like many other street educators worked mostly
late a night with the street children, when they are most vulnerable to attack. At the
time of his disappearance he was preparing some of the street children to take part in
the 3rd National Congress of Street Boys and Girls to be held in Brasilia 19-22 November
1992.
Since Jorge António de Oliviera Filho's death IBISS has reportedly received daily threats
by telephone, such as "This is just the first, we will kill more of your people" "Este
é so o primeiro, vamos matar mais do seu pessoal". On 16 November they were told "we will
kill one more of your educators and also one of the kids going to the Meeting of Street
Boys and Girls". "Vamos matar mais um educador dos seus projetos e um pivete que vai ao
Congresso dos Meninos da Rua". Other street educators working for other non-governmental
organizations are also believed to be at risk.
Page 2 of UA 362/92
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
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 Greater 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 official figures there were
277 killings of children and adolescents in Rio de Janeiro in the first six months of 1992.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters
either in Portuguese or in your own language:
- calling for a full and impartial investigations into the real circumstances of Jorge
António de Oliveira Filho's death;
- seeking assurances for the safety of street educators working with street children in
the city of Rio de Janeiro;
- urging that the state government of Rio de Janeiro examine the question of the safety
of street children and street educators at key points in the city of Rio de Janeiro where
street children gather and sleep.
APPEALS TO
1) State Governor:
Sr Governador do Estado de Rio de Janeiro Salutation: Vossa Excelencia /
Sr Leonel Brizola Your Excellency
Palacio Guanabara
22.231 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Telegrams: Governador Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Faxes: + 55 21 285 7490
2) State Vice-Governor and Police Secretary:
Vice Governador do Estado de Rio de Janeiro Salutation: Sr Secretario /
Dr Nilo Batista Dear Sir
Rua Barao de Itambi no 60 4 andar
22.231 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Telegrams: Vice-Governador, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Telexes: 021 2135
Faxes: + 55 21 240 9159
3) State Military Police Commander:
Sr Commandante da Policia Militar Salutation: Sr Commandante /
Colonel C.N.M. Cerqueira Dear Sir
Quartel General da Policia Militar
Rua Evaristo da Veiga
20.031 Centro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Telegrams: Commandante Policia Militar, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Faxes: + 55 21 212 1200
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Instituto Brasileiro de Inovação Social
Av Beira Mar 406/704
20021 Centro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Local Radio Station:
Radio Jornal do Brasil
Avenida Brasil 500 7 andar,
20949 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
and to diplomatic representatives of Brazil accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Please check with the International Secretariat, or your
section office, if sending appeals after 1 January 1993.

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