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FEDERATIVE REPUBLIC OF BRAZIL:
AT LEAST NINE KILLED OVERNIGHT IN NORTH BRAZIL

Update info:
10 Nov 2014
Country:
FEDERATIVE REPUBLIC OF BRAZIL
Subject:
People in Belém
Gender: both
Period:
18 Dec 2014
Distribution date:
10 Nov 2014
UA No:
279/2014

At least nine people were killed, allegedly by off-duty military police officers, in the city of Belém, in the northern state of Pará on 4 November. Reports from residents indicate that the numbers killed could be much higher than those confirmed by authorities. There are indications that the killings happened in retaliation after a police officer was shot dead.

The authorities of Pará State, northern Brazil, officially confirmed on 5 November that nine people were killed in the neighbourhoods of Guamá, Terra Firme, Marco, Jurunas and Sideral in the state capital of Belém. Residents of these neighbourhoods and local civil society organizations claim that military police officers were responsible for the killings. The first killings took place on the night of 4 November after an off-duty military police officer was shot dead earlier that evening when he arrived at his home in Guamá. The specific circumstances of the police officer’s killing are not currently known and are still being investigated by the authorities. Shortly after the killing, on the night of 4 November a group of officers from the Tactical Ostensive Metropolitan Patrol (Ronda Ostensiva Tática Metropolitana, ROTAM), a special unit of the state military police, used social networks to call on colleagues to act in revenge. One post on ROTAM’s Facebook page stated: “The hunt has started…watch out tramps…ROTAM has blood in its eyes” (A caça começou…!!! Te liga vagabundo… A ROTAM está com sangue nos olhos).

Residents of Terra Firme told Amnesty International that military police vehicles closed streets that gave access to the area, which prevented residents from going in or out. They also reported seeing at least two unidentified vehicles and five motorcycles driving inside the neighbourhood. Witnesses report that the men in these vehicles and motorcycles were wearing hoods and were heavily armed, threatening and attacking residents. Residents from the five neighbourhoods claim that the number of people killed on the night of 4 November is significantly higher than the number acknowledged by authorities. The Public Security and Police Ombudsman and local human rights organizations are still gathering information about the exact number of people killed, the identification of the victims and the circumstances of each killing. Residents in these five neighbourhoods of Belém still fear for their safety.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The Public Security and Police Ombudsman visited the communities of Terra Firme and Guamá on the morning of 5 November to interview residents and gather information about the killings. Members of local human rights organizations are closely following the case.

A resident of the neighbourhood of Terra Firme was interviewed by Amnesty International and stated that, due to barricades made by the military police with its vehicles and other police checkpoints installed, he could not return to his house on the night of 4 November, staying outside the neighbourhood until morning. He reports to have seen a car from the Forensic Medical Analysis Institute coming several times on the morning of 5 November to collect bodies in the area and claims that the number of people killed there was much higher than official reports from the authorities. He also stated that he, his wife and his two daughters would not stay in their home overnight (on the night of 5 November) and would instead stay with relatives as they fear another night of killings.

UA: 279/14 Index: AMR 19/013/2014 Issue Date: 6 November 2014

Take action

Please write immediately in Portuguese, English or your own language:

  • Urging the authorities to ensure a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation of these killings allegedly by military police officers, and ensure that any officers found responsible for such killings are brought to justice in proceedings which meet international fair trial standards;
  • Urging them to take all appropriate measures to immediately ensure the safety of residents of the neighbourhoods of Terra Firme, Guamá, Marco, Jurunas, Sideral and surroundings areas, providing them with effective protection against any further killings taking place;
  • Urging them to ensure that police activities are subject to effective independent oversight and accountability mechanisms.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 18 DECEMBER 2014 TO:
Governor of the State of Pará
Simão Robson Oliveira Jatene
Palácio dos Despachos
Rodovia Augusto Montenegro, km 9
Coqueiro, Belém
CEP: 66823-010
Pará. Brazil
Fax: + 55 91 3248-0133
Email: auxineri@gmail.com
Salutation: Dear Governor

General Commander of the Military Police in Pará
Coronel Daniel Mendes
Avenida Almirante Barroso, 2513
Marco, Belém
CEP: 66090-120
Pará, Brazil
Email: ascompm@gmail.com
Salutation: Dear General Commander

And copies to:

President of CONASP (The National Council for Public Security)
Regina Maria Filomena de Luca Miki
Esplanada dos Ministérios, Ministério da Justiça, Bloco T, Anexo 2, 5º andar
CEP: 70064-900
Brasília, Distrito Federal, Brazil
Email: conasp@mj.gov.br

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.