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Brazil: Dorothy Stang’s Murderer Gets 30 Years After Trying Everything in the Book

Vitalmiro Bastos de MouraAfter a trial that lasted 15 hours, Brazilian farmer/landowner Vitalmiro Bastos de Moura, known as Bida, was sentenced to 30 years behind bars for ordering the murder of an American nun who worked in Brazil with poor landless rural workers in the state of Pará where there are longstanding land conflicts.

She was Dorothy Stang, 73, shot down in February 2005 by hired gunmen. She helped the poor face up to powerful, violent landowners who exploited them. And have historically made a joke of the law by hiring smart lawyers (they can afford them) who use loopholes in the law and legal maneuvers to keep their landowner clients out of jail.

In the case of Bida this has worked for five years. Suffice it to say that this trial was his third.

As the trial began, Bida’s lawyer made a brazen attempt to create a case for a mistrial or postponement by abandoning the courtroom. As one lawyer left a new defense lawyer walked in and announced that he was not familiar with the case. The judge immediately ordered two public defenders to take over so the trial could go ahead.

Five people have now been tried and sentenced for the murder of Dorothy Stang: Rayfran Sales, aka Fogoio, who fired the seven shots that killed her (sentenced to 27 years); Amair Feijoli da Cunha, a middleman who hired Fogoio (sentenced to 27 years); Clodoaldo Batista, who was with Fogoio when he shot Dorothy (sentenced to 17 years because he turned state witness); and the two farmers/landowners who ordered the murder: Bida and Regivaldo Pereira Galvão, aka Taradão (the big pervert).

It turns out that in over 33 years in the state of Pará, Bida is only the fourth landowner who ordered the murder of a rural landless worker to go on trial – needless to say he is one of the few ever found guilty. Taradão is awaiting trial.

ABr

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  • Show Comments (3)

  • jeanne Erling

    You are right about that. As long as he serves some time it’s better than none. My Aunt would like to see them punished just for the sake of scaring them from continuing this way (impunity). Keep praying that Brazil’s people wake up and protest what is happening to their land and their people, and that we, USA and other countries wake up to what our companies are doing to Brazil to drive the greed that kills its people and it’s land.

  • Brasilia

    a small victory
    the sad part is this piece of scum most likely will not serve the full 30 year sentence. my guess is he’ll be out in 7 years or so. 🙁

  • Lloyd Cata

    Finally Justice
    It is good to see that Brazil has Laws that work. If only they would work for all Brazilians. I am not sure if there would be justice in this case without the pressure of international attention, but perhaps this verdict will save another life if the perpetrators have to think twice before committing such a cowardly act.

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