Ênio Pasqualin was a member of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) in the state of Paraná. He was regional coordinator in the Rio Bonito area and over the years he had taken part in many protests and land occupations.
On 24 October 2020, two armed men forced their way into his house and seized money, documents and mobile phones before shooting Ênio and taking him away with them. At that point he was still alive.
Ênio’s body was found early in the morning of Sunday 25 October, near the Ireno Alves dos Santos settlement, in the municipality of Rio Bonito do Iguaçu. He had been shot multiple times.
Ênio Pasqualin joined the land reform movement in 1996, in Rio Bonito do Iguaçu, where he took part in one of the biggest land occupations, when about 3,000 families took over the large landholdings of logger Giacomet Marodin on 17 April of that year.
According to a statement by MST, “Ênio Pasqualin was always a courageous fighter for the rights of peasant communities. He settled with his family in Rio Bonito do Iguaçu and continued helping to build the struggle for agrarian reform.”
He never stopped working for the rights of the community “whether in the context of the organisation of settlers when he was President of the Center of Community Associations of the Ireno Alves dos Santos Settlement (Cacia), or when he helped the sons and daughters of the settlers to organise themselves to continue the struggle for land in the extensive Araupel area”, the statement continued. In a statement former president Dilma Rousseff said that, “Pasqualin was murdered just because he fought for the people’s right to dignity, to earn their livelihood from the land and to build a better country.”
Since then three men have been arrested for the killing, the two gunmen and the intellectual author of the crime, who provided the guns. It appears that the killing was motivated by a dispute over the allocation of parcels of land.