Reports from 3rd and 4th day of solidarity visit in Brazil
Environment, Human Rights, Peace, Democracy and Law, 05/04/2013
On April 3, the third day of the visit, the two-day trial of the murdered environmental activists Jose Claudio Ribeiro and María do Espirito Santo began. Angie Zelter reports that the trial is taking place because of immense public pressure, and that the fact that police had arrested suspects to bring to trial was itself a very rare occurrence in Brazil.
The RLA international delegation was able to observe the trial, and also meet with several of the activists protesting outside, many of whom were themselves victims of death threats and intimidation.
On the second day of the trial, the court reached its decision. The jury had decided that there was not enough evidence to convict one man. The other two were found guilty and given 42 and 45 years prison sentences. Angie Zelter calls the verdict a partial victory, as the underlying causes of the murders and the destruction of the environment are not being dealt with.
The RLA delegation is glad they were able to be present to show solidarity with the embattled people and add their voices to the growing call to end the impunity of the rich and powerful behind the assassinations.
Full report of the fourth day by Angie Zelter.