Public note: one year of the massacre of Pau d’ Arco (PA)

On May 24, 2018, a year is completed of the murder of 10 rural workers inside Santa Lúcia’s Farm, municipality of Pau D’Arco, Pará, fact that became known as the Pau D’Arco Massacre. In addition to the 10 dead, two workers were wounded by gunshot. The crimes were committed by a group of military and civilian police of Redenção, under the excuse of serving 14 temporary and preventive detention orders.

According to what was found in the Federal Police (PF) investigation and in the course of criminal proceedings, of the 29 police officers who participated in the operation, 17 of them (13 from the military police and 4 civilians) were responsible for the execution of the workers. All of them were reported by the State Prosecution of Pará (MPPA) and arrested by decision of the Judge of the Redenção Region. Regarding  to the criminal case, all of the accused have already been questioned and the witnesses of defense and accusation have also been heard. After this stage, it is believed that the judge from Redenção district will pronounce the accused and will refer them to the Jury Court, which is expected to occur in 2019.

A year after the Massacre, investigations have not yet succeeded in identifying the alleged perpetrators of the criminal operation. The Inquiry established by the Federal Police to determine the alleged financing of the operation it is kept a secret – it was not concluded and no one has so far been identified and indicted. The impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of these type of crimes is also one of the reasons why the violence in the countryside continues.

One year after the deaths, the National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform  (INCRA) and the Institute of Lands of Pará (ITERPA) were unable to conclusively clarify the legality of the documentation os Santa Lúcia’s Farm, scenario of the conflict. Due to this lack of definition, the process of acquiring the property for the settlement of the families remains stopped. This circumstance aggravates the conflicts in the area. In the southern and southeastern regions of Pará, an area covered by INCRA in Marabá, there are now 160 farms occupied by about 14 thousand families.

The Governor of the State of Pará, during this period, did not implement any action to protect and support the families of the victims of the massacre. None of them received pension or indemnification from the State.

According to data from the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), 70 people were killed in rural conflicts in Brazil in 2017 – 21 of them were killed in the state of Pará. It is the highest number of deaths in the countryside since 2003. According to the CPT, of the 846 murders that occurred in Pará since 1980, 65% of them have never been investigated. Tabout the ones that were  investigated, only 14 constituents of the crimes were condemned by the Justice of Pará.

For all this, it is only justice that the investigations of the Massacre of Pau D’Arco hold the perpetrators and constituents of the crime responsible, as well as that the State to guarantee indemnification and support for the families of the victims and that INCRA promotes the settlement of them at the Santa Lúcia’s Farm, stage of the massacre. Impunity and abandonment continue to surround crimes regarding  the countryside conflicts.


May 24th, 2018

Justice for Pau D’ Arco!

No more deaths and conflicts in the countryside!



Association of Rural Workers Advocates (AATR / Bahia)

Association for Child and Adolescent Support (AMENCAR)

Gaspar Garcia Center for Human Rights

Central of Popular Movements (CMP)

Center for the Defense of Human Rights of the Serra – ES CDDH

Center for Human Rights Defense of Atilio Vivacqua (Cddh – Dom Tomás Balduino)

Brazilian Committee of Human Rights Defenders (CBDDH)

National Executive Coordination of the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT)

Ecumenical Service Coordination (CESE)

Collective Margarida Alves

Marabá and Xinguara CPT Teams

Ecumenical Forum ACT Alliance Brazil (FEACT Brasil)

Front Line Defenders (FLD)

Torture Never Again Group – Bahia

Global Justice

KOINONIA Ecumenical Presence and Service

Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB)

Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST)

National Movement for Human Rights (MNDH)

Dhesca Brazil Platform

Maranhense Society of Human Rights (SMDH)

Land of Rights

National Union For Low Income Housing




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