PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 19/31/99
UA 322/99 Fear for safety 17 December 1999
BRAZILAdamor Guedes, Gay rights activist
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of gay rights activist Adamor
Guedes after his office was burgled and an attempt was made, two days later,
on his life. The organization believes that this is an attempt to prevent him
from carrying out his human rights work.
Burglars broke into the offices of the Associação Brasileiro de Gays, Lésbicas
e Travestis (ABLGT) - Região Norte, Brazilian Gay, Lesbian and Transvestite
Association - Northern Region, of which Adamor Guedes is Secretary, on 29 October
1999. On 31 October, while Adamor Guedes was on a routine visit into Manaus
town centre to talk to transvestite sex workers and monitor human rights
violations, two transvestites led him off at gunpoint to a deserted plot of
land and tried to strangle him with a nylon cord. When his shouts attracted
the attention of nearby residents the transvestites claimed the Adamor had
been trying to rob them. Adamor Guedes received bruising and other injuries.
Although Adamor Guedes reported the attack to the police they have so far failed
to open an investigation or to take a statement from him.
The burglary and attempted murder of Adamor Guedes came after a public
announcement by the ABLGT - Northern Region - that they would appeal against
the results of a police inquiry into the police beating, on 20 February, of
a transvestite sex worker know as "Bruna" in which several policemen and a
police chief were involved. The denunciation of the beating by the ABLGT resulted
in an internal civil police enquiry but the outcome was that only one policeman
was disciplined, by an 11-day suspension from service.
Fears for the safety of Adamor Guedes and others working for the ABLGT have
forced them to severely curtail their work.
Adamor Guedes has been threatened with death before, in 1992, in connection
with his gay rights work.
Human rights defenders in Brazil are vulnerable to death threats, intimidation
and attacks by police, death squads and hired gunmen, which operate with official
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters in
Portuguese or your own language:
- expressing concern that civil police in Manaus have allegedly done nothing
to investigate the attempted murder of Adamor Guedes;
- expressing concern that the burglary of Adamor Guedes’ office on 29 October,
and his attempted murder on 31 October, may be a consequence of denunciations
he has made about police ill-treatment, and to stop him working on behalf of
- expressing concern that Adamor Guedes’ life is at risk and calling on the
authorities to take steps to protect him;
- calling for a full investigation into the attempt on his life and on the
burglary of the ABLGT offices, and asking that those responsible are brought