Maria da Lurdes Fernandes Silva, 60, and her husband Manoel Índio Arruda, 82, were shoot dead at their own home during the night of the 26th of July 2017 in the Projeto de Assentamento UXI (settlement project) in Itupiranga, Pará, Brazil.
Maria de Lurdes and Manoel, were community land right leaders and environmentalist defenders in Pará. They had denounced illegal acquisition of land in the region and in the last years they personally attended in numerous occasions the INCRA, at the Commissariat of Agrarian Conflicts, at the Federal Police, at the Federal Public Ministry, etc., to denounce the illegal acquisition of plots in the vicinity of his lot and alteration of their own plot limits. THe couple had also reported death threats.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. Only from January to July 2017, 17 rural workers who made their voices heard in the the south and south-east of Pará were killed.