Valmir Mota de Oliveira, also known as Keno, was assassinated at the Free Land Camp in Santa Tereza do Oeste, Paraná. He was a member of Via Campesina and was murdered by a militia member hired by Syngenta Seeds, together with the Rural Society of the Western Region (SRO), and the Rural Producers’ Movement (MPR).
The site had already been occupied by the families on 14 March 2006 who were evicted in November 2006, following an injunction for the re-possession issued by the State Court of Cascavel. After that, the area was expropriated by the state government for the creation of an Agroecology Center and once again the peasants occupied the site.
Interview with Valmir
It is important to mention that Syngenta had already been fined by IBAMA in 2006 to pay a fine of 1 million reais for conducting illegal experiments in the area. Faced with the threat that the company would renew the experiments and also because they had not paid the fine applied by IBAMA, approximately 200 peasants from Via Campesina reoccupied the site.
On that same day the militia attacked the camp firing shots at the people hitting Keno who died instantly. Three other peasants were injured. In 2015, Syngenta was held liable and ordered to pay compensation to Keno’s relatives for material and moral damages.