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Rivelino Zarpellon

HRD & President
Human Rights Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association (Xinguara Subsection)

Rivelino Zarpellon is a well known human rights defender from Xinguara, in the state of Para, Brazil. He has acted as a human rights lawyer for 18 years and is currently a legal advisor to the Union of Workers in Public Education of the State of Para (SINTEPP) and the Union of Workers in Health in the State of Pará (SINDSAUDE), as well as President of the Human Rights Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association (Xinguara Subsection). With a particular relevant role in the southern region of Para state, the human rights defender has acted as a lawyer in many emblematic cases, including in one of allegations of corruption that led to the removal of judges from the Xinguara District in Para state and many other cases accompanied by the Pastoral Commission of the Land of Pará (CPT-PA), such as the Pau D’Arco Massacre, where 10 rural workers where killed by police officers in May 2017.


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.