Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 22:58:20 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Alert: Amazon Timber Baron Goes to Trial for Ticuna Indian Massacre
From: Kenneth Walsh@EDF on 08/09/99 02:32 PM
Contact Information for this Action Alert:
Environmental Defense Fund
1875 Connecticut Avenue N.W. #1016
Washington DC 20009
Tel.: 202 387 3500; Fax 202 234 6049
Amazon Timber Baron Goes to Trial for Ticuna Indian Massacre Call to Protect Witnesses in Landmark Murder Trial
Tomorrow, August 10th, witnesses to the infamous Ticuna Indian massacre of March 1988 are scheduled to testify in the Upper Amazon town of Benjamin Constant. The witnesses are survivors of the slaughter ordered by logger Oscar Castelo Branco in which 14 Ticuna were shot to death and 23 were wounded, in a brutal attempt to prevent the Indians form reclaiming and taking control of their traditional tropical forest lands.
The testimony of the eyewitnesses is of extreme importance, since it is among the last steps in the criminal prosecution that has gone on for over ten years.
We are concerned for the security and safety of the witnesses, because the federal court determined that the testimony be taken in Benjamin Constant, seat of the county where the massacre occurred.
We are therefore forwarding the urgent action bulletin circulated by the Instituto Socioambiental calling for messages to be sent to the Judge of the Benjamin Constant district who will hear the testimony, asking that all necessary steps be taken to protect the Ticuna and guarantee that they be able to state what happened without intimidation.
A suggested text follows, to:
Dra. Andrea Jane Silva de Medeiros
Ju?za de Direito Substituta da Comarca de Benjamin Constant
Fax - 011-55-92 - 415 -5515
Dr. Osorio Barbosa
Procurador da Republica
Fax - 011-55-611-1055
Dear Sir (Madam):
In view of the testimony of witnesses to the Ticuna massacre to be heard August 10 in Benjamin Constant, we respectfully request particular attention to the security of the Ticuna Indians who will testify, in order to avoid intimidation or hostile acts against them. We ask that all necessary measures to protect the Ticuna witnesses and ensure that they be able to recount what happened free of intimidation be taken.
Thank you for your attention to this,