Land-rights defender assassinated in Brazil

A social leader seeking restitution for local peasants displaced by a hydroelectric mega-project in the Brazilian Amazon was slain by unknown assailants in an attack on her home March 22. Dilma Ferreira Silva, 47, was a leader of the Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens (Movement of People Affected by Dams, MAB),¬†founded after construction of the massive Tucuru√≠¬†hydro project on the R√≠o Tocantins.¬†Built during Brazil’s military dictatorship, the project resulted in the forced displacement of some 30,000 local residents. She was slain along with her husband,¬†Claudionor Costa da Silva, 42, and family friend¬†Hilton Lopes, 38, when men arrived on motorcycles at their home in the settlement of¬†Salvador Allende, Bai√£o municipality, Par√° state. The three were overpowered, tied up, and stabbed to death. Four men have since been arrested in the case, and in a simialr assault in the area which also saw three people killed;¬†authorities are claiming the motive was¬†robbery in both cases.

The attack comes just as Brazil’s new arch-conservative President Jair Bolsonaro has ordered the Defense Ministry to organize¬†“appropriate commemorations”¬†of the start of¬†20-year¬†military dictatorship in 1964. HIs¬†spokesman Otavio Rego Barros said¬†Bolsonaro “does not consider¬†does not consider what happened March 31, 1964 a military coup, “He believes that society as a whole, perceiving the danger that the country was experiencing,”¬†was able that day to unite “civilians and military, to recover and return to our country onto its course.” (KaosEnLaRed, Globo,¬†Buenos Aires Times)

Photo: KaosEnLaRed