No more rural violence!

Violencia cero en Pará

Open Letter from
IUF Latin America to the
President of Brazil


Regarding the murder of Marcos Gomes da Silva



Regional Latinoamericana
Unión Internacional de Trabajadores de la Alimentación,
Agrícolas, Hoteles, Restaurantes, Tabaco y Afines (Rel-UITA)



Argentino Geneiro

Neuza Barbosa

Carolina Llanos

Héctor Ponce

Silvia Villaverde

Alberto Broch

Siderlei de Oliveira

Luis A. Pedraza

Guillermo Rivera

Edwin Ranchos

Gerardo Iglesias
Secretario Regional


Montevideo, June 8, 2011


President of the Federative Republic of Brazil

Ms Dilma Rousseff

Palacio de Planalto



Dear President,


The outrage and sorrow caused by the recent murders of peasant and environmental activists José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva (Zé Cláudio) and Maria do Espírito Santo Silva in Pará was still fresh in our hearts when one of our affiliate organizations, the National Confederation of Agricultural Workers (CONTAG), informed us of a new cold-blooded execution perpetrated in that same state.


This time the bullets were aimed at Marcos Gomes da Silva and the modus operandi confirms that the crime was committed by a criminal organization working with hired gunmen. As their first attempt only succeeded in wounding the victim, they set up an ambush to strike again as he was being driven to the hospital and finished him off there.


Marcos was a 33-year-old family man, with a wife and three children, and he had been a labor activist for years, fighting peacefully and without arms for social justice.


The powerful are convinced that the time has come to not only recover past privileges and take back the lands they have lost, but also to take over new lands.


We know that you and your government are making efforts to stop this wave of violence that has spread across Pará over the past few years, turning it into a spectacle of terror, with civilians living in a state of complete defenselessness while impunity protects and murderers and encourages them to keep killing.


It is time for you to set the example for Brazil and the world by showing your political determination  and declaring –within the limits of the rule of law– an all-out war on these violent agents who are massacring the rural communities of the Amazon rainforest whose struggle represents the only guarantee for the conservation and sustainable of rainforests.


The IUF will follow the situation closely and continue denouncing these ignominious acts to the world. And rest assured that we will give our wholehearted and committed support to your efforts in that struggle, acknowledging any actions taken by your administration to get to the truth of these crimes, fully dismantle this apparatus of terror and identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of such heinous acts .


Sincerely yours,



Gerardo Iglesias

IUF Latin American Regional Secretary



cc:     General State Minister Gilberto Carvalho, Presidency of the Republic; Justice Minister José Eduardo Martins Cardozo; Environmental Minister Izabella Mônica Vieira Teixeira; Agricultural Development Minister Afonso Bandeira Florence; CONTAG; Movement for Justice and Human Rights (MJDH); Rural Workers’ Federation of Pará (FETAGRI-PA); Amnesty International; Latin American Labor Lawyers Association (ALAL); UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); and IUF Geneva.





Wilson Ferreira Aldunate 1229 Ofic. 201, Montevideo, Uruguay

Tel: (5982) 9007473 - 9021048 / Fax: 9030905  -


                  June 8, 2011





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  UITA - Secretaría Regional Latinoamericana - Montevideo - Uruguay

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