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Liga de Campesinos Pobres

Liga de Campesinos Pobres

Land rights defenders in Pau D'arco
Brazil: 25 killings in 40 days - Article

On 24 May 2017, Jane Julia de Oliveira, president of the Association of Rural Workers (Associação dos Trabalhadores e Trabalhadoras Rurais) in the local community, was shot dead in the municipality of Pau D’Arco in Pará state. According to local media reports the killing took place when police carried out an attack on a camp of participants in a land occupation on the Santa Lúcia estate. Jane and 9 other members of the LCP (Liga de Campesinos Pobres) were shot dead.

Massacre of Pau d'Arco Observatory

Platform collecting news and information on the massacre of farmers and rural workers in Pau d'Arco, on 24 May 2017.

The Liga de Campesinos Pobres (LCP) in Pau d'Arco (Pará state) is a movement of farmers, rural workers and human rights defenders who work to protect the land rights of their communities. Many lands in this region are occupied by the so-called grileiros, a term referring to people who have seized control of large tracts of land often using dubious title documents. This is a recurring problem across Brazil and is the root cause of many conflicts in which human rights defenders are killed for protecting the rights of their communities. It is estimated that in Brazil 64 per cent of the land is occupied or owned by 8 per cent of the population. 

On 24 May 2017, ten members of LCP (Jane Julia de Oliveira, Weldson Pereira da Silva; Nelson Souza Milhomem; Weclebson Pereira Milhomem; Ozeir Rodrigues da Silva; Jane Julia de Oliveira; Regivaldo Pereira da Silva; Ronaldo Pereira de Souza; Bruno Henrique Pereira Gomes; Antonio Pereira Milhomem; Hércules Santos de Oliveira) were shot dead in the municipality of Pau D’Arco. The killing took place when police carried out an attack on a camp of participants in a land occupation on the Santa Lúcia estate, one of the land disputed by local farmers. The police claim that the killings in Pau D’Arco took place during an armed confrontation, but there is no evidence of armed violence by the LCP members.  According to local media reports, the police managed to approach the estate without being observed and opened fire on the members of the LCP. Several people who had hidden were shot dead by the police after being captured.


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.


Massacre no Pará