Gilmar Alves da Silva

Gilmar Alves da Silva, 40 years old, was a prominent leader of the “Tumbalalá people”, an indigenous community in the Municipality of Abaré, in Bahia state.

The leader was thrown from his motorcycle when an unidentified vehicle deove into him. The killer(s) then shot Gilmar several times. The leader was able to get back to the Pambu Village (another indigenous community), although he didnt survive the attack.

Gilmar was married with four children and worked as an driver for the health services in his community. In fact he was well known for his important role in the indigenous struggle.

He was shot dead on 03 of May, 2015, almost one week after another two indigenous spokesmen were murdered (Eusébio Ka’por and Adenilson da Silva Nascimento). His death was the third killing in the area in that short period.

On  06 May, 2015 a parliamentarian called Valmir Assunção issued a statement related to these cases in which he said that ” it’s fundamental to speed up the process for the demarcation of indigenous land all over the country, so that these people don’t have to suffer any more. At the moment these cases are stalled in the courts”.

In January, 2019 Brazil incoming president Jair Bolsonaro issued an administrative decree shifting responsibility for indigenous land demarcation from FUNAI, the government’s indigenous affairs office, to the Ministry of Agriculture.” This can only lead to further conflict as the Ministry of Agriculture is dominated by the interests of large landowners.

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Nickname:Gilmar Tumbalalá



Date of Killing:03/05/2015

Previous Threats:No information

Type of Work:Community leader

Organisation:Tumbalalá indigenous Community

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:Civil and Political Rights, ESC Rights

Sector Detail:Indigenous Peoples' Rights

More information:Front Line Defenders

1This database records an individual's chosen gender identity. If they do not self-identify as male or female they can use the option of recording other/neither or use the term NBGI (non binary gender identity).