Blood on the Land in Brazil

Millions of Brazilians spent the evening of January 24 watching a courtroom on television. Three judges were scheduled to announce a verdict in the corruption case of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the country’s former president. The judges delivered lengthy speeches, then a unanimous guilty verdict. Lula had illicitly attempted to receive an apartment by the sea, they ruled (link is external). It was 5:45 PM.

At 7:20, two men with guns arrived at the house of Márcio Matos. Márcio, thirty-three, lived on a small plot of parched turf in a settlement known as Boa Sorte, in the Iramaia municipality of northeastern Brazil. He was known for organizing protests through a group in Brazil called the Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST). The armed men wore motorcycle helmets, which they refused to take off. They ordered Márcio’s six-year-old son to go into another room, then shot Márcio in the face and chest. Márcio’s son ran to tell a nearby rancher. Márcio died almost immediately.

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