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Jane Beatriz da Silva Nunes


Jane Beatriz da Silva Nunes, 60 years old, was an activist of the Black movement, feminist and human rights defender. She was a multiplier community agent (PLP)*, trained by the NGO Themis - Gender Justice and Human Rights. Jane was well known in her community in Grande Cruzeiro, a poor neighbourhood in the city of Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul.

Born in Encruzilhada do Sul (RS), Jane has lived in the Grande Cruzeiro community for 40 years. She helped the foundation of the Association União das Vilas, which congregates 36 communities of Grande Cruzeiro, in the south zone of the capital of Rio Grande do Sul. She contributed to the founding of several NGOs to support women, such as Maria Mulher, Association of Women in Solidarity of Vila Cruzeiro (Assmusol) and the execution of the Food Acquisition Program (PAA) in the community.

On December 8, 2020, police officers broke into Jane's home. Aware of her rights to dignity, privacy and inviolability of the home, she insisted those were abuses and lost her life in circumstances that still need to be properly investigated. Since the incident, different versions of the story by the police have been made public and, on 11 December, the organisation Themis announced to be claiming better investigations for the incident.


*The Promotoras Legais Populares (PLPs), known in different countries in Latin America also as “multiplying community agents”, are community leaders who listen, guide, give advice and help other women to have access to the justice and the services that should be demanded when they suffer violation of human rights. In addition to this guiding role, PLPs share information and promote the instrumental use of law in the daily lives of black and poor women to enforce their rights.


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.