Brazil Identifies Four Suspects in US Nun Murder

Body of American nun Dorothy Stang leaves Anapu, state of Pará, BrazilFour men suspect of having murdered Dorothy Stang, a 74-year-old American Catholic nun working in Brazil, have been identified today by the Brazilian police, who did not divulge any name.

The crime happened on Saturday, February 12, at a settlement of 60 landless peasant families, 30 miles from the town of Anapu in the state of Pará, in the Brazilian Amazon. Stang was known to defend peasant farmers who were having disputes with loggers and ranchers.


While ranchers who opposed her called the nun a terrorist, friends and admirers use to call her “the angel of the Trans-Amazon.” The settlement where Stang was killed is part of sustainable development project run by the state government. She had been in the area since 1972 and had become a Brazilian citizen..


Loggers and ranchers have been encroaching on the area reserved for the peasants. Stang was known for telling small farmer not to sell or abandon, but to stay in their land and defend their rights,


The murder occurred in front of the land claimed by two property owners, Luis Angaretti and Regivaldo Galvão, known as “Taradão” (the big sex pervert).


Just hours after the nun’s killing there was another similar murder. In the more recent case, a worker from a neighboring settlement was shot and killed by eight armed men, According to the police, the man was murdered in front of his wife and five children.


According to Brazilian police, two of the suspects were pistoleiros (hired guns) and the two other were the ones who paid for the murder. Pará’s police also revealed that the American nun was killed with eight or nine bullets in the head and the thorax and died before she could be helped.  Earlier information indicated that there were three shots.


Brazil’s Human Rights Secretary, Nilmário Miranda, told reporters that the police wanted to wait before naming suspects, but added: “Everything indicates that a local rancher ordered the killing: the gunmen’s links, the history of killing contracts in the area.”


Saturday, Miranda had indicated that the presumed assassins were two killers known in the region as Eduardo and Fogoio.


Stang’s death occurred nine days after she told Miranda that she had received death threats. “They did nothing to protect Dorothy,” said Antonio Canuto, a leader of the Pastoral Land Commission, who worked with the American nun. “This government protects only big farmers,” he added.
 
Dorothy Stang’s body was transported by plane, this Sunday, from Anapu to Belém, the capital of Pará state, a trip of  700 km, in order to undergo an autopsy. She should be buried in Anapu, on Monday.
 
The identification of suspects was possible thanks to the testimony of two people who were with sister Dorothy when she was shot. Both witnesses have been placed under police protection, according to Brazilian authorities. 
 
In July 2004, Stang, who was a member of the Pastoral Land Commission, a Catholic church organization,  had received the prize Pará’s Citizen in recognition of her work. She had commented to friends that threats of death had intensified since she got the prize. 
 
Environmental group Greenpeace noted in a communiqué that Sister Dorothy had dedicated half of her life to the cause of the Brazilian landless. Anapu ranchers accused her of supplying guns to peasant farmers, something her friends dismissed as an absurd lie.


According to Greenpeace, there were 1237 murders in Brazil linked to land disputes, between 1985 and 2001. More than 40% of these killings occurred in the state of Pará.


BrM

Tags:

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil’s Biofactory to Produce Close to 1 Billion Sterile Flies a Month

Fruit farmers of Brazil and of the world have been granted assistance in fighting ...

Let’s Have Open Markets, Says Bush Before Leaving to Argentina and Brazil

President George W. Bush described United States relations with Latin America as "good" and ...

Brazilian Rebel

In 1986 Darci Frigo was accused of defamation for exposing a federal representative who ...

Calendar

3 By Brazzil Magazine CALENDAR Monday 15 LOS ANGELES 7:00 PM-11:00 PM-Pagode and pizza ...

American Dollars Are Paying for Defecting Cubans in Brazil

A short while ago I was telling about the brain drain, that is disgusting. ...

We Are All Brazilians, All Mixed, and Racists All the Same

From the end of the 1930s till his death in 1995, the anthropologist Ashley ...

Brazil cattle in Mato Grosso state

Europe Tells Brazil to Clean Up Its Act or Suffer Total Beef Ban

Animal health authorities in Brazil have been told in no uncertain terms that the ...

Brazil’s Amazon Deforestation Is Protected and Encouraged by the Constitution

In the last few weeks, a series of major events has signaled the urgent ...

Brazilian Stock Exchange Breaks Record with US$ 600 Billion Turnover

Last year, Ibovespa, the main index of the São Paulo Stock Exchange (Bovespa), in ...

Brazil Hosts International Meeting to Fight Poverty and Spread Wealth

Brazil will be hosting from Wednesday, August 5, to Friday, August 7, the International ...