Brazil: The Candelaria massacre and Wagner dos Santos

AI is concerned for the safety of Wagner dos Santos, 22, the only adult witness to testify at the trial of those accused of killing seven street children and one youth in July 1993 in the so-called “Candelaria Massacre”. Based mainly on Wagner dos Santos’s testimony, three military police officers have been charged and are to be tried for the killings in August. Wagner has suffered attempts on his life and has received death threats. After an attempt to kill him on 9 December 1994 he had to be hospitalized; while in hospital he continued to be harassed and receive death threats; he was moved to a different hospital in April 1995. He is now living in a so-called Witnesses Safe House, where conditions are reportedly poor. Relations between him and military police assigned to protect him are reported to be tense. AI is pressing the authorities to protect Wangner dos Santos; AI is concerned also for other child and youth witnesses in this trial, who currently do not receive state protection

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