Roni dos Santos Miranda, 27, was shot dead in the morning on February 1, 2016.
The murder occurred in the city of Amarante – Maranhão. The Military Police reported that two men approached Roni on a motorcycle. One of them came down and asked if Roni was selling a plot of land, then fired the gun at the victim’s head. The two men fled shortly after the shot. Roni was one of the leaders of the Union of Workers and Rural Workers, working for a just society and for the defence of human rights.
Roni’s death was repudiated by the Federation of Farm Workers of the State of Maranhão (FETAEMA, initials in Portuguese). The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was notified of the murders of at least six human rights defenders between January and February 2016 in three different Brazilian states – Rondônia, Maranhão and Alagoas. The Commission, in a statement, emphasized that the State has an obligation to initiate an investigation into assassinations such as that of Roni, and to punish both material and intellectual perpetrators. The Commission also stated: “investigations must be thorough, serious, impartial and carried out with due diligence.” However, until now, there is no information about the two men who murdered Roni.