Impunity - Brazil I

WHEREAS Ricardo Gonçalves Rocha, owner of the newspaper Jornal Vicentino of São Vicente, São Paulo, Brazil, was murdered on March 31, 2005 WHEREAS the investigation of the death of Manoel Leal de Olivera, who was killed on January 14, 1998 in Itabuna, Bahia, found the two gunmen but not those behind the crime and one of the defendants, Mozart (or Monzar, as he is also known) Brasil, was sentenced to 18 years in prison, obtained release under habeas corpus and is facing trial a free man, while the other suspect, Marcone Sarmento, is in jail waiting for a date to be set for a jury trial WHEREAS the only step lacking is for the judge to indict the suspects Paulo Dapé, Maria José Ferreira Souza (Maria Sindoiá), Waldemir Batista de Oliveira (Dudu) and Antônio Oliveira Santos (Toninho da Caixa) so they can be put on trial for the death of radio journalist Ronald Santana de Araújo, on October 9, 1997 in Eunápolis, Bahia and one of the defendants, Paulo Dapé was mayor of the city when the crime occurred and is now appealing in the courts to get back his job because of pending lawsuits during the last elections; he also had managed to delay the trial at another time WHEREAS the investigation of the death of Nivanildo Barbosa Lima, who was found dead at the Paulo Afonso dam on July 22, 1995, has been reopened but apparently there has been no progress WHEREAS the main defendant in the murder of Mário Coelho de Almeida Filho, in Magé, Rio de Janeiro on August 16, 2001 was the former councilman Genivaldo Ferreira Nogueira who was acquitted on June 30, 200 for lack of evidence, while the other defendant. Reynaldo Polary Stumpf, who was thought to be at large had actually been in jail since December 2, 2004 in Araruama, Rio de Janeiro, for another crime, which neither the prosecutor of Magé, Rhamile Sodré de Oliveira nor the police knew and when the prosecutor was told by the IAPA she asked that the trial against Stumpf resume to continue the case WHEREAS two defendants in the murder of social columnist Maria Nilce Magalhães on July 5, 1989 in Vitória, Espírito Santo, are about to go on trial, with the only remaining step is to provide the criminal record of the other two, while a fifth defendant’s trial was suspended because he was mentally incompetent, and according to information from the court, the judge is waiting for all the investigations to be finished before taking them to the jury, at the same time, the prosecutors responsible for the case were changed again WHEREAS after the investigation of the death of Edgar Lopes de Faria (known as Escaramuça) on October 29, 1997 in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, had apparently been stalled for a time, there now may be new leads because a jailed drug trafficker has said he heard members of the Military Police confess to killing Escaramuça, and recently one of them was killed while the other will be shown to the trafficker WHEREAS after more than a year of thinking that there were leads to the whereabouts of one of the suspects in the murder of radio journalist José Carlos Mesquita on March 10, 1998 in Ouro Preto do Oeste, Rondônia, the police only recently sent investigators after the defendant in the state of Paraná and when they arrived they found that he had been killed in shootout and now the investigations are focused on another suspect who had been arrested at the beginning of the investigation but was released because of lack of evidence WHEREAS the radio journalist José Wellington Fernandes, known as Zezhino Cazuza, was killed on March 13, 2000 in Canindé of São Francisco, Sergipe and the main defendant, ex-mayor Genivaldo Galindo da Silva is in jail and is a defendant in at least 30 civil trials and the proceeding was remitted to the Sergipe court with a request to withdraw his immunity and take the trial to another jurisdiction where the community would be impartial since the defendant has been mayor of Canindé de San Francisco twice WHEREAS the courts have now convicted six of the nine people accused of killing Tim Lopes of TV Globo, who was killed in June of 2002 in Rio de Janeiro, and, of the nine suspects, two have died, and the trial of the last defendant is set for October 2005 WHEREAS businessman Domingos Sávio Brandão de Lima, owner of the daily Folha do Estado do Mato Grosso and the radio station Cidade de Cuiabá FM was killed on September 30, 2002, and the Civil Police have identified five people involved in the crime, including the mastermind and all have been charged and put on trial, except for the mastermind, João Arcanjo Ribeiro, who is in jail in Uruguay awaiting his extradition to Brazil to be tried WHEREAS the police got the names of eight people involved in the murder of radio journalist Nicanor Linhares Batista on June 30, 2003 in Limoeiro do Norte, Ceará, and the public prosecutor’s office of Ceará charged all of them, but one of the defendants was killed in a shootout with police and the rest are in prison and their trial is in its final stage and the prosecutor of Limoeiro do Norte in charge of the case has been changed WHEREAS at the request of the public prosecutor’s office, Justice Paulo Galotti of the Superior Court ordered a investigation about the participation of federal judge José Maria Lucena of the federal court in Recife, Pernambuco and his wife, Arivan Lucena, then the mayor of Limoeiro do Norte who were accused of being behind the death of the radio journalist and both had the right to a special jurisdiction because of their positions WHEREAS since the former mayor was not re-elected, the investigation of her case should have been returned to the region of Limoeiro do Norte, but as of September 15, 2005 this had not happened while the trial against Judge José Maria Lucena is being heard by Justice Hamilton Carvalhido of the Superior Court WHEREAS concerning the murder of radio journalists José Carlos Araújo on April 24, 2004 in Timaúba, Ceará, three people have been accused of murder but only one is in prison and the others are fugitives WHEREAS the prosecutor of Amambaí region, in charge of the investigation of the murder of journalist Samuel Román in April of 2004 in Coronel Sapucaia, Mato Grosso do Sul has been changed WHEREAS accusations have been made against former mayor Eurico Mariano and nine other people, but only one is in prison and the former mayor has presented a habeas corpus appeal and is facing the trial while free, another defendant was released after finishing his term of preventive detention and the other are fugitives WHEREAS the chief of police in charge of investigating the murder of radio journalist Jorge Lourenço dos Santos on July 11, 2004 in Santana do Ipanema, Alagoas, was recently changed, and two months after that change the new officer in charge did not know anything about the investigation thinking that the case had already been handed over to the judge and the registration office does not know where the file is WHEREAS during the investigation of the murder of radio journalist Jorge Viera da Costa in March of 2001 in Timon, Maranhão, there was pressure against the witnesses and the prosecutor in charge of the case reported errors in the gathering of evidence WHEREAS three of the six defendants were able to stop the proceeding saying there was not enough evidence, with two of them the probable masterminds with links to city hall at the time of the crime and the public prosecutor’s office appealed to the Superior Court to continue the trial but it said the appeal had not yet been heard WHEREAS the other three defendants were tried and convicted for the crime in September of 2005, but the relatives of the radio journalist are worried and fear reprisals because there is talk in the city that the three convicted men will remain free WHEREAS it is not yet known if the murder of councilman and radio journalist José Cândido de Amorim Filho, known as Jota Cândido, who was murdered July 1, 2005 in Carpina, Pernambuco, was connected to his work as a journalist WHEREAS Aristeu Guida da Silva was murdered on May 12, 1995 in São Fidélis, Rio de Janeiro and Vladimir Rainieri Pereira Sobrosa, accused of being one of the murderers, was sentenced to 28 years in prison in April 2005, he appealed the sentence and is awaiting a decision while two other defendants, one of them a police officer, are still at large WHEREAS the investigation of the murder of journalist Reinaldo Coutinho da Silva in August 29, 1995 in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro was stalled for a long time because of police allegations that there were many mistakes in the initial investigation at the time of the crime and that it was difficult to resume the case after such a long time and that the prosecutor who took over the case had problems investigating it WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec says “Freedom of expression and of the press are severely limited by murder, terrorism, kidnapping, pressure, intimidation, the unjust imprisonment of journalists, the destruction of facilities, violence of any kind and impunity for perpetrators. Such acts must be investigated promptly and punished harshly” THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to ask the Brazilian authorities to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators and masterminds responsible for the murder of Ricardo Gonçalves Rocha, so that this crime does not go unpunished to ask the federal government to transfer the investigation of crimes against human rights, including the murders of radio and print journalists to the federal police and that the decision to transfer the cases be made quickly and judiciously since delay only encourages impunity to urge the enlargement and improvement of the Witness Protection Program that currently supports the witnesses in very poor conditions which means that many people prefer not to participate to urge government officials to effectively guarantee press freedom and free access to public documents and investigations to urge the officials in charge of public security in the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Sergipe, Espirito Santo, Rondônia, Alagoas that they provide technical and infrastructure conditions so police can effectively investigate crimes, including payment of expenses when they travel to apprehend suspects, quick laboratory work on ballistics, DNA and fingerprints, availability of cars for routine investigation, and prompt search and arrest warrants to urge police and justice authorities that investigations not be limited to identifying and arresting gunmen and intermediaries but also the masterminds of crimes to ask the state secretaries of public safety to take necessary measures to prevent the escape of those involved in crimes to ask for the necessary measures to prevent bureaucracy and corruption from delaying judicial processes and slowing down the prosecution of defendants to ask that defendants who hold high political posts also be prosecuted, even at a high level of the judiciary, so they are not able to slow the investigation of cases in which they are involved to ask the public prosecutors’ offices of the various states to put every effort into the conduct of the investigations and demand new procedures to identify the guilty parties and to guarantee that the trials continue without being interrupted every time a prosecutor or police chief is changed to ask the justice minister to expedite the extradition of João Arcanjo Ribeiro from Uruguay to Brazil to be put on trial for the crime against Domingos Sávio Brandão, among others.