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Date: Sat, 27 Apr 1996 17:50:40 -0500
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>>> Item number 7057, dated 96/04/25 00:36:24 -- ALL
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1996 00:36:24 GMT
Reply-To: Rich Winkel <rich@pencil.math.missouri.edu>
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: Rich Winkel <rich@pencil.math.missouri.edu>
Organization: PACH
Subject: Brazil: No more massacres!

/** reg.samerica: 940.0 **/
** Topic: No more massacres **
** Written 8:28 PM Apr 22, 1996 by ax:cptnac in cdp:reg.samerica **

No more massacres

Statement by the Brazilian Pastoral Land Commission, 18 April 1996

The massacre in Eldorado do Carajas, in the state of Parao, which took place on 17 April, in which the Military Police killed at least 22 landless rural workers, injured at least 40, and left a large number unaccounted for (the information is still incomplete), is the thirteenth in the state of Par in the last ten years, with a total death toll of 87. The worst took place on 29 December 1987 in Serra Pelada, when 30 people were killed. In Brazil as a whole, since 1986, there have been 33 massacres in rural areas with a total of 197 deaths.

The Eldorado massacre took place between 4.00 and 6.00 pm on the PA 150 highway, about ten metres from the town of Eldorado do Carajas, when about 1500 landless people - men, women and children - who were occupying the Fazenda Macaxeira ranch were on a march towards Beleom, the capital of Par state to demand the expropriation of the area. On the pretext of clearing the road, the government of the state of Parao sent in a force of Military Police, who opened fire on the marchers, causing the massacre.

The Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) repudiates and condemns yet another massacre of landless rural workers, and holds Governor Almir Gabriel and the commanders of the Military Police directly responsible for the crimes committed in Eldorado do Carajaos. The government of Parao has in the past admitted that it has no control over the Military Police, which in Paraoamounts to a parallel force in league with the ranchers.

The CPT connsiders that the Brazilian government is also responsible for the massacre because it created expectations which it did not fulfil of agrarian reform: it has drastically reduced the resources allocated for the resettelement of landless people, and keeps at the Ministry of Agriculture Joseo Andrade Vieira, who is radically opposed to agrarian reform and has bled dry the land reform agency INCRA.

For these reasons the CPT demands that the legal procedures for the immediate investigation into the criminal responsibility and liability under military discipline should be carried out by the Public Ministry, since the government of the state of Par is under suspicion.

18 April 1996