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Semião Fernandes Vilhalva

HRD, Leader
Povo Indígena Guarani-Kaiowá

Semião Fernandes Vilhalva was one of the leaders of the Guarani-Kaiowá indigenous people and he had actively participated in the struggle for the recognition of indigenous territories and the recognition of the ancestral lands of the Guarani-Kaiowá people. On 29 August 2015 he was killed in a land recuperation operation after the Guarani-Kaiowás occupied their ancestral lands in the municipality of Antônio João in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul.


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.