Lena de Souza Calote

Lena de Souza Calote was the matriarch of a family of small farmers. Lena was 70 years old, married to Orlando Cruz de Mendonça, 69, mother of Maria de Lourdes Cruz Pagung, 43, daughter; mother-in-law of Nicolau Pagung, 53 who was married to Maria de Lourdes; and grandmother of Luciana Pagung, 16, and Fabiana Pagung, 14.

On 15 August 2002, all these people were stabbed and beaten to death with sickles, knives and stones, in the city of Santa Leopoldina, Espirito Santo, in an incident that became known as the Leopoldina Slaughter. The bodies were found in an advanced state of decomposition.

The main suspect is the city’s former mayor, Idemar Jair Endringer, who had an interest in buying the lands the family had occupied and which were allegedly owned by one Adolpho Seick. According to information the former mayor intended to carry out a development on the site, expanding the urban area of ​​the city.

Farmer Adolpho Seick, his son, Ermindo Seick, and cowboys Luiz Augusto Felisberto Santana and Dirceu Berger were convicted of the crime. The former mayor, accused of being the intellectual author of the crime, was acquitted by the jury.

If you would like to provide a personal recollection, please email us at: HRDMemorial@frontlinedefenders.org



Department/Province/State:Espirito Santo


Date of Killing:15/08/2002

Previous Threats:Yes

Type of Work:Community leader

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:ESC Rights

Sector Detail:Land Rights, Peasant Communities

More information:Front Line Defenders

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