Josias Paulino de Castro

On 16 August 2014, Josias Paulino de Castro, 54, and his wife Irani da Silva Castro, 35, were shot dead in Guariba District, municipality of Colniza, state of Mato Grosso, Brazil.

Before his death, during a court hearing, the social leader from “Associação de Produtores Rurais Nova União” , reported crimes committed by farmers, state agents and police, all connected to the illegal occupation of land.

On that day, Josias claimed “we are dying, we are threatened, the state of Mato Grosso is accomplice, the Guariba Police protect them, the federal state is silent, is it necessary I be killed for someone to take action?”.

At the time, according to reports received there had been repeated calls for the government to take action to protect people who were being threatened in that region.


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Department/Province/State:Mato Grosso do Sul



Date of Killing:16/08/2014

Previous Threats:Yes

Type of Work:Social leader

Organisation: Associação de Produtores Rurais Nova União

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

Sector Detail:Land 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).