On June 7, 2016, 22-year old Fernando Gamela was murdered with three gunshots in the Taquaritiua community, in the city of Viana, State of Maranhão. Fernando was a member of the Gamela people who fights for the recognition of their territory in the Baixada Maranhense.
Murders related to increased pressure from the timber industry and the activities of illegal loggers interested in the exploitation of traditional territories are becoming frequent, and the Gamela People are being forced off their land. In 2016, there were 61 murders in the countryside, an average of five murders a month, according to the Pastoral Land Commission (PLC).
Front Line Defenders, along with other bodies protecting the indigenous people, strongly condemns any violence against the Gamela People, and supports their fight for recognition of their territory. We urge the Brazilian governments to assist the indigenous communities who are suffering such serious attacks.
The recent murder of Eusebio Ka’apor which occurred on April 26, 2015 has not yet been investigated by the authorities despite numerous complaints having been lodged by by the Ka’apor People and other people in the forest.
We cannot accept these crimes, so we will continue to fight in defence of the indigenous cause. Front Line Defenders demands that the Brazilian government bring to justice those responsible for the death of Fernando Gamela and all human rights defenders killed in the conflict over their territory.