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Brazil: Conviction of US Nun’s Murderer Thrown Out of Court

American nun Dorothy Stang Just last October, Brazilian Rayfran das Neves Sales, self-confessed killer of American missionary Dorothy Stang was sentenced to 27 years in prison. The Supreme Court of the Pará state, in northern Brazil, has annulled however that decision on Monday, December 17, ruling that Sales has the right to a third trial.

The state's Supreme Court (TJ) decided for the annulment based on a petition by Sales's lawyer, who claims that his client had his defense curtailed and that the jury included people who had been vetoed by the defense. Pará's justice will not schedule a new trial before the end of the year.

Since the early 70s Sister Dorothy had dedicated her life to poor Brazilians and ended up getting her Brazilian citizenship. The outspoken religious woman had received several threats from land owners and loggers throughout the years. Stang was killed with nine shots on February 12, 2005, at age 73.

Sales, also known by the nickname of Fogoió, said that he was the one who point blank shot the missionary six times in Anapu, in the southwest of Pará. The nun, who for decades worked with rural workers, was trying to establish a sustainable development project that would help peasants in the region using public land.  This apparently  bothered big farmers, who are accused of deforestation and land grabbing.

In a first trial, in December 2005, Sales was also condemned and sentenced to 27 years of jail, but was automatically granted a new jury trial because his sentence was over 20 years in prison.
 
Since his sentencing the gunman has been kept in a maximum security penitentiary in metropolitan Belém, capital of Pará state. He's been jailed together with Vitalmiro Moura, Amair Feijoli da Cunha and Clodoaldo Carlos Batista, all of whom are also involved in the missionary's murder.

Moura, 36, was sentenced to the maximum term of 30 years in prison for having paid gunmen Sales and Batista to kill the American missionary. Farmer Regivaldo Galvão, the Taradão (Big Sex Maniac), is the only one who hasn't been  put on trial yet.

In October, Sales confessed that he had killed the nun, but denied that he had been hired by farmers to murder her. He killed her, he said, because the American missionary had threatened him when he went to plant grass in a land, known as lot 55, in Anapu. Stang wanted to use the place for settling poor peasants.

The District Attorney claims that farmers Galvão and Moura paid 50,000 reais (US$ 28,000) for the contract killing of the nun.

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  • Show Comments (22)

  • forrest allen brown

    BY A MARINE

    >
    >
    >
    > > TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
    > > HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
    > > IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF
    > > PLASTER AND STONE.
    > >
    > > I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY
    > > WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
    > > AND TO SEE JUST WHO
    > > IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.
    > >
    > > I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
    > > A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
    > > NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
    > > NOT EVEN A TREE.
    > >
    > > NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,
    > > JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
    > > ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES
    > > OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.
    > & gt;
    > > WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
    > > AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
    > > A SOBER THOUGHT
    > > CAME THROUGH MY MIND.
    > >
    > > FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
    > > IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
    > > I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
    > > ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.
    > >
    > > THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
    > > SILENT, ALONE,
    > > CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR
    > > IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.
    > >
    > > THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
    > > THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,
    > > NOT HOW I PICTURED
    > > A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.
    > >
    > > WAS THIS THE HERO
    > > OF WHOM I’D JUST READ?
    > > CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,
    > & gt; THE FLOOR FOR A BED?
    > >
    > > I REALIZED THE FAMILIES
    > > THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
    > > OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS
    > > WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.
    > >
    > > SOON ROUND THE WORLD,
    > > THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
    > > AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE
    > > A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.
    > >
    > > THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM
    > > EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
    > > BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,
    > > LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.
    > >
    > > I COULDN’T HELP WONDER
    > > HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
    > > ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE
    > > IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.
    >
    > >
    > > THE VERY THOUGHT
    > > BROUG HT A TEAR TO MY EYE,
    > > I DROPPED TO MY KNEES
    > > AND STARTED TO CRY.
    > >
    > > THE SOLDIER AWAKENED
    > > AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
    > > ‘SANTA DON’T CRY,
    > > THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;
    > >
    > > I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,
    > > I DON’T ASK FOR MORE,
    > > MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
    > > MY! COUNTRY, MY CORPS.’
    > >
    > > THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER
    > > AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
    > > I COULDN’T CONTROL IT,
    > > I CONTINUED TO WEEP.
    > >
    > > I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,
    > > SO SILENT AND STILL
    > > AND WE BOTH SHIVERED
    > > FROM THE COLD NIGHT’S CHILL.
    > >
    > > I DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE
    > > ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
    > > THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR
    > > SO WILLING TO FIGHT.
    > >
    > > THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
    > > WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
    > > WHISPERED, ‘CARRY ON SANTA,
    > > IT’S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE.’
    > >
    > > ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,
    > > AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
    > > ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,
    > > AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.

  • bo

    We must elect…
    a republican president. If it’s a democratic senate,house, and executive…..oh shit!

  • João da Silva

    Bo
    [quote]JoÀƒ£o. Believe me, I would consider myself a republican, but the Bush administration has went waaaay too far. Someone needs to put in check the corporate powers that be in the U.S….in particular the defense contractors, Boeing, Hughes, McDonnell Douglas, Raytheon, etc.[/quote]

    Bo, there is nothing wrong in being a republican. With the comments you made, you remind me of one of your post war presidents IKE. He did criticize about the “Military Industrial Complex” and the power it exercised over U.S. But Ike was a warrior and knew from first hand the profits a war generates for this Industry. Bush Sr. also was a a fighter pilot in WW II and he knew what a war was all about. Unfortunately, Junior Bush did not learn anything from his dad and he took too much time to get rid of people like Rummy, Wolfowitz,etc;

    I don’t think Bush Jr is dumb. But he is unable to grasp the Geopolitics (unlike his dad who had a long experience in this field ). Right now, he has just another year to go and thus a lame duck President. It is time for U.S. to review their strategy with respect to rest of the world, reconquer old friends and be the leader of the free world.

    I am keeping track of the Presidential campaign in U.S. I am not too pleased with the Democratic candidates nor the GOP ones. But one person that drew my attention was Mitt Romney who seems to be an interesting guy. However, whoever wins has to make efforts to restore the prestige U.S. always had and counter the influence of the “Evil Empire” Lloyd is so fond of talking about.

  • João da Silva

    Ch.c
    Hi, get off this thread and get into ” Brazil Is Buzzing With Good News!”. I thought you were in Normandy 😉

  • ch.c.

    To Joao : “It doesn’t make any sense to me anymore.”
    did it made sense….once….to you ???

    Hmmmmm !

  • ch.c.

    To the Junkie Costinha drown in ethanol !
    I you know ONE single Brazilian citizen…that finds the Brazilian Supreme Court of Injustice as Fair…..please name it.
    They protect the 4000 Lula thieves…and no one else.

  • bo

    shit…
    forgot Halliburton….how to hell could I forget them!!!

    Long live KBR!! 😉

  • bo

    agreed…
    JoÀƒ£o. Believe me, I would consider myself a republican, but the Bush administration has went waaaay too far. Someone needs to put in check the corporate powers that be in the U.S….in particular the defense contractors, Boeing, Hughes, McDonnell Douglas, Raytheon, etc.

  • João da Silva

    Bo/Lloyd
    [quote]One comment in regards to who the “empire” truly is, it’s difficult for me to believe anything other than WASPS in the U.S.[/quote]

    Bo, I think Lloyd is talking about an “Evil Empire” that wants to bring a new world order and not about the U.S or the WASPS. I am glad you too are interested in hearing more.

    Lloyd, two more things I forgot to add were that even in the energy field and building of highways in Brazil, the Spaniards are quite active.I would not be surprised if they get into building of Sea Ports also. I wonder if they have so much money to invest. It does sound strange to me.

  • bo

    Interesting comments Lloyd…
    and would be interested in hearing more. One comment in regards to who the “empire” truly is, it’s difficult for me to believe anything other than WASPS in the U.S. Do the jews weild great influence….of course, the vatican? Naturally. But at the end of the day it’s WASPS in North America that has their finger on the button and in control of 800 world wide military bases.

  • João da Silva

    Llyod Cata
    Interesting comments, Llyod. Again absolutely fascinating. Before I fully respond to your comments, I would like to know if you live in Brasil. You sound like a Naturalized American citizen, born in another country. You might be surprised to know that I also ask myself the same questions you put to me (as to a certain extent, I am well read too). I have a strong feeling that we are operating on the same frequency.

    What makes it more interesting is to read that 3G cellular licenses have been given to all the firms from the countries I mentioned before and Nextel helped to jack up the prices in the auction, though did not win the bid in any area.

    Your comments also confirm the theory of “A Brazilian” that U.S. is not the “Empire”. Extremely interesting Dr.Cata and the plot does thicken.

  • Lloyd Cata

    JoÀƒ£o
    Pardon,
    the last line should be;
    [b]I do not judge anyone, that is God’s purview, but I am a witness for the truth and my testimony, hopefully, brings truth to light.[/b]

  • Lloyd Cata

    JoÀƒ£o
    [i]- This leads me to believe that the “empire” you talk about is an “axis of evil” that consists of Italy,Spain,Vatican and Portugal. -[/i]

    Very perceptive, but those are just the Latin portion of the Empire. The Vatican being the ‘silent’ theological head. Note how Spain was quickly recruited to involve itself in Iraq. Italy being the poor cousin in NATO and the EU. Portugal to a lesser degree because no one can figure if Portugal is actually European(Othello?), and who cares? That has been a good thing to keep Brazil ‘non-aligned’; a position that has served very well internationally and diplomatically.
    Although rude to answer a question with a question I beg forgiveness!
    1) Can the US and its ‘allies’ go to war with the implicit agreement of the Vatican? (Onward Christian Soldier?)
    2) The UN Security Council just renewed its agreement to the criminal invasion of Iraq, and the US turns Brazil away from a seat on the council, why?
    3) Through the British Commonwealth, Africa remains a captive commodity exchange for Europe. Why? Why shouldn’t South America be in the same position with an American Commonwealth?

    For the best indication of how I define Empire please continue to watch the action with Libya. Mr. Khaddafi was once labeled the worlds foremost terrorist by the Empire. Now he has been rehabilitated!!! He pays a paltry $2 Billion to get the charges dropped (which he received in advance from ‘commercial partners’ wanting to do business). Now he is the ‘star’ of North Africa. Invited to Paris and London. More billions than he can spend. For this I will not ask you why! I will tell you that the Empire has smiled on Mr. Khaddafi so that he can control North Africa. He sits in a strategic position on the Arab councils and the African Union. He has the most disciplined army in North Africa. The Islamic ascendency and sectarian bloodshed going on right now is part of this agenda. Libya historically has had agents in all the major Arab and African capitals.The Empire needs a ‘leader and strong man’ to maintain it hegemony in Africa. That is how the Empire works, eh? (see US Marines Anthem – “halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli”)

    [i]As an engineer I am trained to analyze data to solve problems. Coincidence is like deja-vu, I know it can happen, but I don’t have the evidence, so I can only decide on the facts.So I return to the the subject of the [b]73 year old “velhinha”[/b]. She has given us a window on the truth in Brazil. Her death is the mirror in which all Brazilians today must look. NO! Do not turn away![/i] I do judge anyone, that is God’s purview, but I am a witness for the truth and my testimony, hopefully, brings truth to light.

  • João da Silva

    Llyod Cata
    [quote]From Europe the criminals and bastards of the Empire have infected this hemisphere and now you have their morals and truths for your own.[/quote]

    Llyod, you have mentioned many times about this “Empire”, without specifying the name. Are you referring to the Vatican, Spanish and Portuguese elite, erstwhile Soviet Union,Italian Mafia, etc:-? Or are you talking about the erstwhile British empire? Since you are a Telecom engineer, you are obviously aware that the Brazilian Telecommunications system is under the ownership of the Italians, Spaniards and Mexicans (Major players). This leads me to believe that the “empire” you talk about is an “axis of evil” that consists of Italy,Spain,Vatican and Portugal.

    Please clarify.

  • bo

    Lloyd…
    “judge ye not for ye not be judged. For with what judgement ye judge ye shall also be judged. And with what measure ye mete it shall be measured out to you again.”

  • Lloyd Cata

    Gods Mercy
    So this is the Brazilian soul! This is what the criminals and bastards from Europe have taught you. This is the plague that they have brought to the righteous. Where is the outrage in Brasilia? Where is the outrage in Rome?

    As a scientist and engineer I tell you there is a balance in the universe. God is “perfect”. On which side of the scale sits Brazil? From Europe the criminals and bastards of the Empire have infected this hemisphere and now you have their morals and truths for your own. Americans did the same for their Native Peoples, no? You have learned well and shall reap what you have sown. From the land you now steal and overrun shall come the means for your destruction. Make haste to plead for Gods mercy, for His justice will also be perfect.

  • João da Silva

    costinha
    Excuse me Costinha. Lets forget whether a commentator is an old fart or a young piss ant.This article discusses about how a 73 year old “velhinha” was killed.Never mind about her nationality nor her religious afflictions. Do you think that it is fair to kill an old lady for her convictions or rape a 19 year old kid,just because the kid stole a “pote de mateiga”? It doesn’t make any sense to me anymore. Our esteemed colleagues “A Brazilian”, “Brazilian Dude” , “Mario Lucio” and several other Brasilian bloggers in this site are right. We LOST OUR MORAL values.

    If the fazendeiros were displeased with the attitude of Sister.Dorothy Stang, why did they not attempt to deport her, instead of liquidating her (that is the phrase I want to use, because it was nothing but that)?

    Costinha, I would love to hear your opinion on this issue.

  • madison Reynolds

    And now the stupidity of no cell phones inside the banks
    Well folks, now the goverment does not want to allow anyone to have their mobile inside a bank!!! But I want to be able to call for help if the guards are shot up, call my accountant because the bank has f**ked up, call my wife the beat goes on. What stupidy will come next.? My body guard can not enter with his weapon nor can I enter with my laptop.. OHHHHH the dangerious laptop !!!

  • bo

    Laura…
    was she truly your aunt?

    If so, really sorry. Can’t imagine what I would do in your shoes. Unfortunately think I’d have to take justice into my hands since they can’t seem to get it right in the court system here.

    Appears that’s exactly what many do here.

  • Laura

    Brazil is truly the system of injustice. The United States is far from perfect..but we do get one right now and again. Brazil can’t seem to get it right at all. The girl who was put in jail with men for petty theft and then raped over and over again…come on! My aunt surely did not get murder for that kind of justice. This man who shot her will get off, just as all the other truly criminal people with money and/or money support do!

  • costinha

    CH.C. – Chronic Herpes Carrier has spoken
    but as usual says nothing…Ol Fart!

  • ch.c.

    What a joke….what a joke ….and crook….Brazil is !!!!
    You are worse than a Banana Republic !
    You are an Ethanol Republic !

    You truly have Great Supreme Courts Of Injustice.

    And the World knows this !

    Not so funnily, a young mother aged 19, went to a 4 years jail term, without recourse, because she has stolen….a tube of butter !!!!! Sadly true ::::

    You should be red faced about your Brazilian National Pride !!!!!

    Viva Brazil, Viva Bin Lula and his 4000 thieves/crooks/liars/cheaters….elected by the majority of electors.

    A true Democracy of losers !

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