EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 19/15/93
Please bring this action to the attention of the person in your section
responsible for outreach work as it is felt that appeals from religous or
children's organizations might be particularly useful.
UA 123/93 Fear for Physical Safety 21 April 1993
BRAZIL: Pedro Horácio CABALLERO, priest
Maria Cecília GARCEZ LEME (female), nun
Ademir SILVEIRA DOS SANTOS, aged 12, street child
Moisés SILVA DO NASCIMENTO, aged 12, street child
Amnesty International is concerned for the physical safety of two street
children, Ademir Silveira dos Santos and Moisés Silva do Nascimento, who were
beaten up by members of the military police on 13 April 1993 at Praça da Sé,
São Paulo, Brazil. The organization is also concerned for the safety of Pedro
Horácio Caballero and Maria Cecília Garcez Gómez who witnessed these beatings
and who have been threatened by the military police.
According to the information received by Amnesty International, in the evening
of 13 April, Father Pedro Horácio Caballero, a street educator, educador de
rua, working with street children in Praça da Sé, a square in downtown São
Paulo, saw two military police officers beating up 12-year-old Moisés Silva
do Nascimento. In an attempt to stop the beating, Father Caballero addressed
the police officers who in response verbally abused him, accusing him of
"protecting delinquents". Father Caballero then sent another street child,
Ademir Silveira dos Santos, also aged 12, to seek the assistance of Sister
Maria Cecília Garcez Leme, another street educator, who was nearby. However
one of the police officers grabbed Ademir Silveira dos Santos, shook him and
pushed him to the ground. Both the police officers then pinned Ademir to the
ground and beat him on his head, legs, arms and back with their truncheons,
laughing and verbally humiliating him.
Father Caballero made a further attempt to stop the boys being beaten, telling
the police officers that their actions were illegal. In response, Father
Caballero was asked to identify himself and when he tried to look for his ID
card they attempted to handcuff him. The police officers failed to restrain
him and began to beat him up, hitting him in the face, back, arms and legs.
Father Caballero then asked the police officers why was he being beaten up,
since he was not armed, and told them that he was going to denounce them and
began to read out loud their identification tags. The police officers then
removed the tags from their uniforms and rubbed them in Father Caballero's
While this was going on, two other street educators arrived in the square.
When the police officers realised that Father Caballero was a priest from the
Church Pastoral of the Child, Pastoral do Menor, they attempted to justify