A former national leader of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST), and member of the Workers’ Party (PT), was shot and killed on the night of Wednesday 24 January 2018, on the farm where he lived in the city of Iramaia, southwest of Bahia. Márcio Matos de Oliveira, 33, was the current state director of the MST. The police quickly eliminated robbery as a motive, because nothing was taken.
Born in Vitória da Conquista, in south west Bahia, Márcio became one of the leading campaigners in the struggle for the rights of landless farmers and the process of agrarian reform in the state of Bahia. He became national leader of MST, a post he occupied for 8 years, and was known for his outstanding ability to mobilise large numbers of people in the defence of human rights. He was one of the most visionary leaders of the movement, devoted to the defence of human rights and the protection of the environment.