23 Years Later Impunity Goes on for Brazilian Ranchers Killers

Diário do Pará website On October 27 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an agency of the Organization of the American States (OAS) held a hearing in Washington, D.C., about the Ubá Farm Case, when rural worker's had their houses burned and were brutally shot down by gunmen. 

Investigations began in 1985, the year the killings occurred, but the legal proceedings were compromised by improprieties and irregularities, that allowed those responsible to go unpunished.

Human rights agencies consider that type of impunity a pattern of human rights violations in crimes committed against rural workers in southern Pará, a state in northern Brazil, and all over the country. 

In the case in question, two of the killers fled and the person who ordered the crime remains out on bail in the trial that has already lasted 23 years.

The case of the Ubá Farm was taken up by the IACHR in 1999 by the Center for Justice and International Law and the Pará Association for the Defense of Human Rights, which participated in the agency's hearing last month. 

The agencies requested that the Commission find the country of Brazil at fault for violations of the rights of the both the Uba Farm murder victims and their families.

Between 1988 and 1987, seven massacres were reported in this region of Pará state, which left 62 deaths according to data of the Pará Society for Human Rights. From all these cases, however, only two were brought to justice. The other five were simply ignored.

In the other case besides Ubá, the one known as the Fazenda Princesa (Princess Farm) case, five peasants were killed with some of them being decapitated and having their bodies thrown in the river. Both lawsuits are stalled for 21 years.

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