A recent spate of violence related to land conflicts in northeastern Brazil has targeted Indigenous people and small-scale farmers, raising concerns from activists about impunity in the region. On July 11, a rural worker was killed in the municipality of Codó in Maranhão state, the fourth death recorded in 2021 linked to land conflicts in the state, according to the Catholic Church-affiliated Pastoral Land Commission (CPT). In the same weekend, squatters entered the traditional territory of the Akroá Gamella Indigenous group, in the municipality of Viana, Maranhão, and tried to build a fence to split the territory, the Indigenist Missionary Council (CIMI) said. The CPT identified the victim in the July 11 killing as José Francisco de Sousa Araújo, locally known as Vanu, who leaves behind a wife and four children. According to the Maranhão Society for the Defense of Human Rights, Vanu was shot and executed by two men on a motorcycle in the Pinheiral do Norte community of Codó, where four people from Vanu’s family were murdered since 2012 and a survivor also claims to be marked for death. The whole family had reportedly received multiple death threats in recent years due to land conflicts, leading them to seek refuge in Pinheiral do Norte in 2019. Mongabay was unable to confirm whether police are investigating the case. “The killing of rural workers is announced and denounced every year in the state of Maranhão, without there being an answer that offers a solution to change this reality of massacre…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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