On Tuesday, Brazilian agricultural workers asked the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) for a sentence against the Brazilian State for its responsibility in the murder of Antonio Tavares Pereira in 2000.
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"A conviction will help establish the truth and legitimize the struggle for agrarian reform in Brazil," the victims' lawyer Josiane Grossklaus said in her plea before the judges whom she asked to order reparation measures for the victims.
She also demanded the implementation of a plan to fight violence in the Brazilian countryside and the modification of the Brazilian jurisdiction so that military justice does not intervene in the investigation of human rights violations.
On May 2, 2000, some 1,500 members of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) were mobilizing in buses to participate in a march in favor of agrarian reform in Curitiba City.
After being forced to get off the buses by the Military Police of the Para state, rural workers were assaulted by the officers, who seriously injured 185 people. One of the officers shot and killed Antonio Tavares Pereira.
The lawsuit filed by the IACHR Court maintains that there was a disproportionate use of force and that the Brazilian military justice left the crimes committed unpunished for 22 years.
The hearing on this case is taking place at the IACHR headquarters in the city of San Jose in Costa Rica. Initially scheduled to last two days, the hearing was suspended on Tuesday and will be resumed later.