Man charged with killing of nun who fought for dispossessed - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
February 22, 2005

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Man charged with killing of nun who fought for dispossessed

-22/02/05

A man has been charged with the killing of missionary sister Dorothy Stang an elderly American nun whose support for environmental causes and human rights provoked controversy in a remote jungle region of Amazonia..

Amair Freijoli da Cunha, known as 'Tato', is one of the four men police were searching for in connection with the crime.

The 73 year old missionary nun was shot on February 12 in Para province.

Known for her work defending peasant farmers from illegal loggers and ranchers she was on her way to a meeting with local activists about land reform when two gunmen approached her and shot her three times in the face.

One of Brazil's most respected ministers said she believed that gunmen wanted to silence Sister Dorothy because she refused to stop speaking out against the powerful loggers and ranchers who have carved up large parts of the Amazon into their personal fiefdoms.

Tato decided to give himself up but denied any responsibility for the crime, according to the official Brasilian news agency, Agencia Brasil.

Brazil's first left-wing president has so far failed to deliver on his promise to settle 400,000 landless peasants and the country continues to have massive wealth gaps and chronic social inequality. President da Silva also faces pressure to open tracts of forest land to boost farm exports and support strong economic growth.

Rights groups compared Sister Dorothy's death at a settlement for landless peasants close to Anapu in the north of the country to the murder in 1988 of Chico Mendes, the rubber tapper who called international attention to Amazon rainforest destruction.

Find books now:

Man charged with killing of nun who fought for dispossessed

-22/02/05

A man has been charged with the killing of missionary sister Dorothy Stang an elderly American nun whose support for environmental causes and human rights provoked controversy in a remote jungle region of Amazonia..

Amair Freijoli da Cunha, known as 'Tato', is one of the four men police were searching for in connection with the crime.

The 73 year old missionary nun was shot on February 12 in Para province.

Known for her work defending peasant farmers from illegal loggers and ranchers she was on her way to a meeting with local activists about land reform when two gunmen approached her and shot her three times in the face.

One of Brazil's most respected ministers said she believed that gunmen wanted to silence Sister Dorothy because she refused to stop speaking out against the powerful loggers and ranchers who have carved up large parts of the Amazon into their personal fiefdoms.

Tato decided to give himself up but denied any responsibility for the crime, according to the official Brasilian news agency, Agencia Brasil.

Brazil's first left-wing president has so far failed to deliver on his promise to settle 400,000 landless peasants and the country continues to have massive wealth gaps and chronic social inequality. President da Silva also faces pressure to open tracts of forest land to boost farm exports and support strong economic growth.

Rights groups compared Sister Dorothy's death at a settlement for landless peasants close to Anapu in the north of the country to the murder in 1988 of Chico Mendes, the rubber tapper who called international attention to Amazon rainforest destruction.

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