Brazil’s Minister of Justice, Márcio Thomaz Bastos, assured today that the government will do everything possible to punish the culprits responsible for the death of the 73 year-old missionary, Dorothy Stang, who was shot six times early Saturday morning, February 12, in Anapu, in the state of Pará.
Bastos said that the government’s reaction “must be tough and implacable.” He lamented the crime, saying that he was acquainted with the American nun and her work.
Strang, who had become a Brazilian citizen, worked together with communities of pioneers and settlers in northern Brazil, an area of violent economic conflicts, involving squatters who invade government lands.
Bastos informed that he is accompanying the investigations.
“What exists there is a territory in a very tense situation, in which the State is not present and in which the Ministries of Environment, Agrarian Development, and National Integration have begun to act, to transform economic activity into an organized effort rather than a predatory means of survival.
“And this is causing a huge reaction on the part of individuals who aren’t used to living in a democratic and civilized society or a society under the rule of law,” the Minister declared.
Bastos said that he expects a quick solution, because various suspects have already been identified, and three preventive arrests have already been mandated.
Since the region is immense and the searches have been hindered by the rainy weather, the government decided to send reinforcements, including an airplane.
Translation: David Silberstein