Target: Prosecutor General of Brazil, Rodrigo Janot
Goal: Prosecute military police and Araupel lumber company security guards for allegedly shooting members of the Landless Workers’ Movement.
On April 7, 2016, military police in Paraná, Brazil and security guards from the Araupel lumber company allegedly opened fire on members of the Landless Workers’ Movement. Six individuals were wounded and two were killed. These individuals were occupying a portion of Araupel’s land in a nonviolent fashion. The Dom Tomás Balduino encampment, as it was called, was set up to protest the continuous failure of the Brazilian government to negotiate meaningful land reform for the landless workers of Brazil. This alleged attack on members of the Dom Tomás Balduino encampment was an act of state and corporate violence with no justification. Prosecutor General of Brazil Rodrigo Janot should pursue charges against the military police officers and Araupel security guards who are allegedly responsible for this tragic incident.
Prior to this incident, there were multiple violent threats sent to the Dom Tomás Balduino encampment from the security forces of the Araupel lumber company. The military police who allegedly joined the security forces in their attack on peaceful protesters were acting under the authority of Governor Carlos Alberto Richa of the right-wing Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira (PSDB) party. This amounts to a disturbing corporate and government conspiracy to violently attack members of the Landless Workers’ Movement.
Wounding and murdering protesters is plainly unacceptable. In the absence of meaningful land reform, these occupying members of the Landless Workers’ Movement were acting within their constitutional rights. The Brazilian constitution specifically mentions that land must be partitioned in such a way that serves a social function, not just the interests of the wealthy elite. Attacking those who try to protect this right is a serious affront to the legal sanctity of Brazil’s constitution and to the rights of landless workers. Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot should pursue prosecution of the military police officers and Araupel security guards who allegedly took part in this attack.
Dear Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot,
The alleged violent attack on members of the Dom Tomás Balduino encampment earlier this month, carried out by military police and Araupel security officers, was an unacceptable act of state and corporate aggression. Wounding and murdering peaceful protesters is a serious crime that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
These protesters were acting to protect the constitution, which states that land must be used to serve a social function. There was no reason to violently attack them for doing so.
Justice must be meted out in order to do right by those members of the Landless Workers’ Movement who were brutally wounded and murdered. I urge you to pursue prosecution of the military police and Araupel security guards who are allegedly responsible for this attack.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Wilson Dias