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UA 343/94 - Brazil: death threats / fear for safety: Cesar Gomes Gama, Jose Antonio Moura Bonfim, Marcos Cardoso, Elenaldo dos Santos Santana; and other employees of the CINFORM newspaper in Aracajua, Sergipe State

, N° d'index: AMR 19/019/1994

Serious threats have been made against the lives of the above-named journalists with the newspaper CINFORM. Since July 1994 it has published reports about the activities of a so-called extermination group, A Missao (The Mission), operating in the state of Sergipe.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 19/19/94
Distr: UA/SC
UA 343/94 Death threats/fear for safety 16 September 1994
BRAZIL Cesar Gomes Gama, journalist
José Antônio Moura Bonfim, journalist
Marcos Cardoso, journalist
Elenaldo dos Santos Santana, commercial director of
Other employees of the CINFORM newspaper in Aracaju,
Sergipe State, Brazil
Amnesty International has learned of serious threats made against the lives
of the above-named journalists who have published investigative reports about
the activities of a so-called extermination group in the state of Sergipe.
The group is allegedly responsible for a large number of killings in the interior
of the state.
Since July 1994, the newspaper CINFORM (Clasificados e Informações) has
published a series of reports about the activities of an extermination group
called A Missão, ("The Mission") and allegations that members of the shock
troop of the state military police as well as senior police officers and state
authorities have been involved in its activities.
Journalists at the newspaper have received death threats and reports that a
number of gunmen have been contracted to kill them. On 14 September, while
two of the journalists were making a radio broadcast about the extermination
group from the newspaper's office, the building was reportedly surrounded by
heavily armed men. Armed men have subsequently repeatedly passed the building.
On 15 September, the journalist learned through an informant that "they would
not last the weekend".
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams//faxes/express and airmail letters
either in Portuguese, English or in your own language:
- urging that the federal authorities take immediate steps to guarantee the
lives and physical safety of the above-named journalists and their families;
- expressing concern at the lack of action by the federal authorities despite
repeated requests for urgent action by them in the light of these serious
allegations against state authorities;
- urging that allegations about the operation of an extermination group in
the state of Sergipe are fully investigated and appropriate measures taken
by the federal police to end their activities and bring those responsible to
Minister of Justice
Sr. Alexandre Dupreyrat
Ministro da Justiça
Ministério da Justiça
Esplanado dos Ministérios
Bloco 23
70.064 Brasília DF
Telegrams: Ministro Dupreyrat, Ministro da Justiça, Brasília, Brazil
Faxes: + 55 61 321 5145/224 2448
Salutation: Your Excellency/Vossa Excelência
Attorney General
Dr. Aristides Junqueira
Procurador Geral da República
Procuradoria Geral da República
Ed. Sede da PGR
Av. L2 Sul - Q 603 - lote 23
70.200 Brasília DF
Telegrams: Excmo. Junqueira, Procuradoria Geral da República, Brasília, Brazil
Faxes: + 55 61 313 5197
Salutation: Your Excellency/Vossa Excelência
Sergipe State Governor
Sr. João Alves Filho
Governador do Estado de Sergipe
Palácio Olympio Campos
49.900 Aracaju SE
Telegrams: Sr. Governador Alves Filho, Aracaju, Sergipe, Brazil
Salutation: Your Excellency/Vossa Excelência
Jornal 'CINFORM' (Clasificados e Informações)
Rua Laranjeiras 741
and to diplomatic representatives of Brazil accredited to your country.
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 28 October 1994.

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