Brazil’s Special Secretary of Human Rights, Minister Nilmário Miranda, informed that three of the 13 individuals suspected of participation in the massacre committed Sunday, November 21, in an encampment of the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST), in Felisburgo, Minas Gerais, are already in jail.
According to Miranda, two of the supposed criminals are former members of the encampment where the massacre took place. They had been expelled from the community. The third is an alleged local gunslinger. All three were recognized by witnesses.
Miranda said that the Federal Police has already identified two people suspected of responsibility for having ordered the crime committed against the rural workers: the landowner Adriano Chacique and his cousin, a former member of the Civil Police, Calixto.
Both of them are on the run. According to the Minister, two of the five landless workers murdered in the massacre had already filed formal complaints with the police against the landowner and his cousin.
On the morning of November 20, 2004, the encampment was invaded by gunmen, who, besides assassinating residents, set fire to 31 tents and carried off horses, pigs, and chicken.
Miranda classified the crime as “savage and cruel.” “The crime was premeditated. Whoever ordered it counted on impunity. He did everything to hide the facts,” the Minister stated, referring to the fact that the suspected landowner used his own truck to take the gunmen to the locale where the massacre occurred.
Miranda said that the investigations were carried out by the Federal, Military, Civil, and Highway Police. “All of the individuals involved in the crime will suffer penalties,” he guaranteed.
The four hospitalized victims are no longer at risk, Miranda declared.
Translator: David Silberstein