Flávio Gabriel Pacifico dos Santos (Binho do Quilombo), 36, was gunned down while on his way to a funeral, after dropping his son off at school. He was in his car, which was still in front of the school, when unidentified men fired at least 14 shots at him.
Binho was vocal in his opposition to the installation of a landfill in Simões Filho by the company Naturelle. He had his own website, on which he published news about the community of Pitanga dos Palmares, described the problems faced by Afro-descendents on several fronts and demanded that the state address thse issues.
Binho had already reported threats and had sought protection from the state. However, as the State of Bahia has not had access to the PPDDH (National Programme for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders) for about two years, nothing was done for him. The homicide is being investigated by the 22nd Territorial Police Station (DT) of Simões Filho. In December 2017 Leandro Pereira da Silva, a suspect in the killing, was arrested but has since been released. The police are still looking for suspects.
Débora Souza, a journalist for Simões Filho Online, described Binho as “a born leader … and a great militant in the struggle for the appreciation of Quilombola communities.” Binho was an adviser to the Secretary for the Promotion of Racial Equality of Simões Filho. He was also president of the Quilombola Association of Pitanga dos Palmares and became a candidate for councilman in 2016. He was the son of Yalorixá (priestess of Candomblé) and former Secretary for the Promotion of Racial Equality in the municipality of Simões Filho, Maria Bernadete Pacífico. “Bernadette is a warrior and courageous woman. [Her son’s murder] was like tearing out her own heart, “said a friend.
Binho is survived by his wife Eliane de Jesus, with whom he spent 19 years, and by their children. He also had a foster sister, Claudineia Conceição. Among the many testimonies of friends and family, we highlight that of Ailton Costa, an affiliate of the PT (Worker’s Party) of Simões Filho. “Binho was a great creature, a good person, who thought a lot about his community. He was a human being of the highest quality and will be sorely missed. I had great pleasure in having known him and having had him as a political colleague. God receive him with great light, for he was a good man here on earth. ”