Ruan Hildebrandt Aguiar

Ruan Hildebrandt Aguiar, 18, was last seen on January 31, 2016. Ruan was a member of the League of Poor Peasants and a member of the “Terra Nossa” settlement, where he lived. This settlement consisted of farming families who were occupying the Tucumã farm, in Cujubim – Rondônia.

In January 2016, the landless group that Ruan was a part of abandoned the occupation due to a ruling by the department of justice that gave ownership of the land to the previous occupier.  After the land had been taken over again by the new owner five ex-occupants returned to the area on the grounds that they were going to look for objects that had been left behind.. According to witnesses, as they left the site, the five former occupiers were ambushed by an armed group. All five attempted to flee, were chased by the group and only three managed to escape.

Ruan Hildebrandt de Aguiar was one of the five. To this day his body has not been  found and the family have accepted that he is dead.  On February 1, 2016, a charred body was found inside a car in the area. The result of DNA tests proved that the body was that of Alysson Henrique de Sá Lopes. However, due to the conditions of the body, the medical expertise could not identify the definitive cause of his death. The other three managed to flee, although one of them, Renato de Souza Benevides, was later killed in March 2017.

On February 3, 2016, a van with a machine gun, four rifles, a revolver, ammunition, uniforms and GPS equipment was seized at the Tucumã farm. The owner of the Tucumã farm, Paulo Iwakami (Paulo Japonês), his manager Sérgio Suganuma, and the security guards Rivaldo de Souza, Moisés Ferreira de Souza and Jonas Augusto dos Santos Silva are accused of killing Allyson and Ruan, and of trying to kill three other people. The trial was scheduled to begin on August 15, 2017 in Ariquemes. However, it was postponed until October 2017, as the lawyer of one of the defendants did not attend the opening session and another lawyer resigned.

Ruan’s family are still mourning the disappearance of their son and wait for news of the young man. On February 5, 2016, the searches were suspended by the public security organs, but Ruan’s parents asked for the searches to continue. Ruan’s father, Gilmar Ramos, as soon as he heard about the suspension of the searches, said we want to know our son’s whereabouts.” Ruan’s mother, Clarice Hildebrant, says her son was very happy before leaving home to go to the farm with the other four friends. And she said: “He only went there to get his things and to return home, but that’s not what happened, we do not know if he’s alive or hurt, what we want, is him back, if he’s not alive, at least we want his body”.

If you would like to provide a personal recollection, please email us at:






Date of Killing:31/01/2016

Type of Work:NGO member

Organisation: League of Poor Peasants

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

Sector Detail:Freedom of Expression, Land Rights, Peasant Communities

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).