Alexsandro dos Santos Gomes, a 40 year old, leader of São Francisco do Paraguaçu afro-descendant community and founder of Movimento de Resistência Camponesa – a peasant community resistance movement -, was murdered on the night of Tuesday May 31 of 2016, by 5 hooded men who arrived in the community by boat, invaded his home, shot him and his father and then escaped in the same boat they arrived in.
Alexsandro was hit several times in his back and in the head, dying immediately, whilst his father, Antoniel Cerqueira Gomes, was shot in the foot and needed some treatment but was released soon after.
The Afro-descendant Community, home of about 300 families living on subsistence farming, fishing, shellfish gathering and piaçava collection, has been threatened for years by illegal loggers and powerful farmers. In 2011, a coordinator of the Peasant Community Resistance Movement, Paulo Ardes, was arrested based on false allegations after denouncing illegal deforestation in the lands of a powerful farmer in the region.
The police believes Alexsandro’s execution was motivated by his complaints against illegal logging in the region of Bahia concave.