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Antonio Alves

Quilombola HRD

Antonio Alves, 75, is a quilombola HRD, born and raised in the Quilombo Onça, located in the Middle Mearim region, in the municipality of Santa Ines-Maranhão. Since 2010, the Onça Quilombo has been fighting for title to its traditional lands, which are being invaded and deforested by ranchers to raise beef cattle.

On May 30, 2024, Antonio Alves was victim of an murder attempt at the entrance to the Quilombo Onça by a farmer and his henchmen, who assaulted him with blows to the head, punches, kicks and gun shots. The threats intensified after the community retook part of their land because they were being pushed away from their territory throught a violent land occupation done by farmers.

The challenges and threats faced by human rights defenders in Brazil remain very high, particularly for those working on issues of land, environment, indigenous peoples, LGBTi rights, corruption and impunity. Many HRDs have experienced death threats, physical attacks, arbitrary arrests and lawsuits. The high number of killings is of particular concern and takes place against a background of widespread impunity.