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Land Activist Gunned Down in Brazil Amazon

BRAZIL / 26 AUG 2011 BY VERONICA PRATES EN

A land activist was shot dead in the Brazilian state of Para, apparently by hired killers, in the sixth killing which has been linked to land conflict in the region in the last few months.

Valdemar Barbosa de Oliveira, also known as “Piaui,”was shot dead by two men on motorcycles in the Amazonian state on Thursday, according to the Pastoral Land Commission (Comissão Pastoral da Terra - CPT).

The campaign organization said that the victim had been involved in organizing in the occupation of at least three farms by landless families, most recently the California ranch in the municipality of Jacunda, and that his killing may have been connected to the threat of a new occupation.

The farmer had been receiving death threats since the beginning of the year, according to the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT)’s lawyer Jose Batista.

No one has been arrested for a series of murders that took place in Para in May and June, including the double murder of a married couple involved in land activism.

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