Presidente Dilma Rousseff

Gabinete da Presidente

Pal?cio do Planalto

Pra?a dos Tr?s Poderes


Bras?lia DF


Your Excellency,

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human Rights Ambassador for

I came to know about the KILLING OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER DIEGO LUIZ BERBARE BANDEIRA from Front Line Defenders the International Foundation for the protection of human rights defenders.

On 23 August 2012 lawyer and human rights defender Mr Diego Luiz Berbare Bandeira was killed in front of his home in the city of Caraguataba, S?o Paulo state. Diego Luiz Berbare Bandeira was a member of the Comiss?o de Direitos Humanos da OAB-SP (Human Rights Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association in S?o Paulo), where he had made formal complaints concerning abuses of authority committed by civil and military police, prison directors and other authorities.

On 23 August 2012, at approximately 6.40 pm, Diego Luiz Berbare Bandeira was shot at 14 times in front of his home in the Rio do Ouro neighbourhood of Caraguatatuba. Two unidentified men on a motorcycle fired at the human rights defender before fleeing the scene.

In June 2012, Diego Luiz Berbare Bandeira had filed complaints regarding corruption, the use of torture and lack of medical care at the Centro de Deten??o Provis?ria de Caraguatatuba (Temporary Detention Centre in Caraguatatuba). Within his report he named certain military officers who are allegedly engaged in drug trafficking. On 19 June 2012 during a meeting at the Legislative Assembly in S?o Paulo, the human rights defender reported that he had been receiving threats from persons concerned by his reports to the Human Rights Commission.

I believe that the killing of Diego Luiz Berbare Bandeira is directly related to his work in the defence of human rights and in particular his reporting of abuses of authority by military and civil police in the city of Caraguatatuba. This latest killing comes in a context of grave risk to human rights defenders fighting against corruption and denouncing misconduct by state agents, and in particular the police force in Brazil. Judges and lawyers who engage in such actions are often putting themselves at risk, with the Associa??o dos Magistrados Brasileiros (Association of Brazilian Magistrates) recording 400 cases of judges who have reported receiving threats. 11 August 2012 marked the first anniversary of the killing of human rights defender and judge Ms Patricia Acioli who was shot 21 times by two police officers in front of her home in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro state. Eleven police officers have been indicted for their involvement in the crime.

I urge the authorities in Brazil to:

1. Carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the killing of human rights defender Diego Luiz Berbare Bandeira, with a view to publishing the results, and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;

2. Take measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of the family of Diego Luiz Berbare Bandeira;

3. Guarantee in all circumstances that human rights defenders in Brazil are able to carry out their legitimate and peaceful human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.

Yours Sincerely,

William Nicholas Gomes

Human Rights Ambassador for


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