Murderers on countryside set a new record and reach a higher number since 2003

The Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT) today released data on assassinations in conflicts at rural areas in Brazil, during 2017 — the highest number since 2003. The CPT also reported hackers attacks suffered in the last year, as part of the procedures of criminalization of social organizations, which have been increasing, and that made impossible the accomplishment and launching of its annual report, the “Conflicts in the Countryside of Brazil”. Check out also the material in English and Spanish:

Even with the delay on its publication, the CPT makes public today the data of murders in conflicts in the countryside occurred during 2017. Again, this type of violence broke records, reaching the highest number since 2003 with 70 murders (check it here). An increase of 15% comparing to the numbers of the 2016. Among these deaths, we highlight 4 massacres occurred in the states of Bahia, Mato Grosso, Pará and Rondônia. We also emphasize the suspicion of another massacre of isolated indigenous people, known as “archival Indians”, from the Javari Valley, of Amazonas, between July and August 2017. More than 10 victims were reported. However, since the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office in Amazonas and the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) did not reach a consensus, and given the limited information available to the CPT, since it was a case of isolated groups of people, the case was not included in the list presented here.

The CPT points out, however, that in addition to the murders datas contained in this list, there are many others that occur in the immensity of this country and only the pain of their families notice about them. “The CPT’s publication is only a sample of the conflicts in Brazil”, said Dom Tomás Balduíno, bishop emeritus of Goiás (GO) and one of the founders of the Pastoral.

The murders of landless rural workers, indigenous people, quilombolas, squatters, fishermen, settlers, among others, grew sharply from 2015 onwards. The state of Pará leads the 2017 ranking with 21 people murdered, of which 10 in the Massacre of Pau D’Arco; followed by the state of Rondônia, with 17, and Bahia, with 10 murders.

Of the 70 murders in 2017, 28 occurred in massacres, which corresponds to 40% of the total. In August 2017, the CPT launched a special web page ( on the massacres in the countryside, recorded from 1985 to 2017. There were 46 massacres with 220 victims along those 32 years. In the page it is possible to consult the history and images of the cases. The state of Pará also leads this ranking, with 26 massacres over those years, which victimized 125 people.


Assassinations and Judgments

The CPT records the conflict in the countryside data systematically since 1985. Between 1985 and 2017, the CPT registered 1,438 cases of conflict in the countryside where there were 1,904 victims. Of this total, only 113 were judged, which corresponds to 8% of the cases, in which 31 commanders of the murderers and 94 executioners were convicted. This shows how impunity is still one of the main pillars of the violence in the countryside.

In those 32 years, the North region counts 658 cases with 970 victims. Pará is the leading state in the country, with 466 cases and 702 victims. Maranhão comes in second place with 168 victims in 157 cases. And the state of Rondônia in third, with 147 people murdered in 102 cases (Check it here).


Hacker attacks disturbed completion of CPT’s annual report

Starting in the second half of 2017, the CPT’s National Secretary, located in Goiânia (GO), suffered consecutive hacking attacks, orchestrated and directed to strategic sectors, which forced the limitation of the operation of its servers in an attempt to maintain the security of the system , which ended up compromising the performance of the daily tasks of the Pastoral. The Documentation Center Dom Tomás Balduíno, responsible for the cataloging and compilation of data on conflicts in the countryside disclosed by the entity, was harmed, delaying the closing of CPT’s annual report, the “Conflicts in Brazil Countryside”, and making it impossible to launch on the usual date, the week of April 17, International Day of Peasant Struggle, in memory of the landless rural workers murdered in Curva do S, in Eldorado dos Carajás, Pará, in 1996.

These attacks can also be part of the process of criminalization undertaken against organizations and social movements in the strugle. The case was reported to the competent police authorities and is still under investigation. Anyway, the CPT deems it extremely important to report, albeit incompletely, some of the various forms of violence against the rural people in 2017 and draw attention to the alarming data that we are now analyzing. Soon, the report “Conflicts in the Brazil Countryside 2017” will be disclosed, in its entirety. The CPT takes the opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to the causes of the poor people of the countryside, and they will not be able to shut us up!

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