On July 8, 2016, community leader Genivaldo Braz do Nascimento, 36 years old, was killed while sleeping at his home in the rural area of the municipality of Araguaína, north of Tocantins. Genivaldo was one of the leaders of the Gurguéia settlement and had previously registered three complaints about death threats.
The Gurguéia is one of the settlements organised by the Landless Workers’ Movement in the state of Tocantins. It was occupied in the year 2012 and the community have held on to the land since then. This is seen as an obstacle to the plans of landowners in the region and their resentment of the resettlement programme is the root cause of the violence in the region.
Other settlements are also suffering repression – as is the case of Mata Grande, in the municipality of Santa Fe do Araguaia, which was the target of a barbaric invasion when hooded gunmen entered the camp shooting, threatening families and assaulting four community leaders. The same happened in June with two settlements in Carrasco Bonito and Boqueirão.
According to partial data recorded by the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), there has been an intensification of conflict and violence in the country side. In the first quarter of 2016 alone, 36 deaths were recorded. In 2015, there were 50 murders across the country.