Environmental Groups to Urge Recapture of Mendes Assassins

March 8, 1993
(March 8, 1993—Washington, DC) On Monday, March 8 at 5:00 p.m., several environmental organizations, led by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), will meet with Brazilian Ambassador Rubens Ricupero at the Brazilian Embassy. The objective of the visit is to restate protests concerning the prison escape of Darly and Darci Alves, the convicted assassins of the Brazilian rubber tapper, union leader, and environmental activist Chico Mendes in 1988.

The Alves’ escape is just one example of the failure of the judicial system in Brazil. The international community fears that the escape of the convicted murderers in the high-profile Chico Mendes assassination will increase the risk of violence to activists in the Amazon. This week in Brazil the Pastoral Land Commission (CTP) and the Workers Union of Rio Maria of Para State denounced the disappearance of two rural workers, Antonio Inacio Faria and Luis Rodrigues dos Santos, suspected to have been killed by the Military Police. More than 1600 killings involving land conflicts have gone without trial since 1964.

At the embassy meeting the organizations will strongly urge the Brazilian government to recapture the Alves and request the reopening of the Chico Mendes case to bring to justice others involved in the Mendes’ assassination.