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Pre-2008 Posts

Dorothy Stang’s Killers’ Convictions and Sentences Upheld

This is a photo of Dorothy Stang, a naturalized citizen of Brazil, originally from Dayton, Ohio.  In 2005, at the age of 73,  she was shot at point-blank range by a gunman hired to silence her voice forever.  She was a nun.  Her murder followed a dispute with wealthy, powerful ranchers over land they intended to clear for pasture and which she had sought to protect.  The night before she was killed she had brought food and clothing to a family whose home had been burned down.  The gunman shot her once as she was standing, and five more times while she was on the ground and probably already dead.

The above is an excerpt of my blog post about the murder of Dorothy Stang.  You can read the rest of the post hereA Brazilian court has upheld the conviction and sentencing of her murderers.




8 thoughts on “Dorothy Stang’s Killers’ Convictions and Sentences Upheld

  1. Thanks for having very important issue. I cannot believe how afraid men can of women’s voices, especially when they speak out the truth.
    The indigenious people of too many countries are being exterminated in the name of male power and monetary gain. Every report or person who expose this genocide can help to prevent it. But, I find it hard to be optimistic. For, money, land and white male power is more important than indigenious cultures.

    Posted by Rebecca | October 25, 2007, 2:13 pm
  2. Raifrans, the murderer, was tried ln October. Unanimously, the jurors, male and female voted for sentencing Raifrans to 27 years. The male judge clearly was angry that Raifrans was allowed another trial because it was so clear that he was guilty, already had a two day trial in 2005, and was clearly sentenced then. That Raifrans was allowed to appeal again is how justice is served in Brazil. If you are rich you can appeal forever. Regivaldo who was jailed for being involved in Dorothy Stang’s murder won his Habeas Corpus last year in the Supreme Appeals Court in Brazilia and is now still free and still no sign of having a trial. I am Dorothy Stang’s brother and I am appaled at this lack of justice for my sister, for the 850 farmers, men and women, in the Amazon who have never had a trial and to all those who have a price on their head, men and women, in the Amazon for speaking the truth. There is no doubt that Dorothy stood up for protecting the Amazon. She even wore a tee shirt that said, “The Death of the Forest is the Death of our Lives.” There is no doubt that Dorothy stood up for the Rights of the Poor and for the Rights of Women.
    David Stang

    Posted by david stang | December 18, 2007, 8:24 pm
  3. David Stang, thank you so much for commenting, even though these are sad tidings indeed. 😦 I will blog again about your sister, bringing her murderers to justice, and about her work in the Amazon.

    Keep the faith; we are standing with you,


    Posted by womensspace | December 18, 2007, 10:47 pm
  4. The coward rancher that put a contract out on Dorothy Stang’s life was absolved of his crime. I am so ashamed of the Brazilian justice system…..

    Posted by Lisa | May 9, 2008, 8:03 pm
  5. When I was touring Blood of the Wicked people sometimes asked me if the book didn’t exaggerate the gravity of Brazil’s land wars and/or the impunity of the rich in Brazil. Anticipating that, and because there are aspects of it almost impossible to believe for someone who hasn’t lived here, I ended the book (author’s notes) with a reference to Dorothy Stang.
    I’m in São Paulo at the moment and the media has been full, day after day, of coverage about the murder of a five year old, allegedly by her stepmother and her father.
    But there is damned little being said about the fact that the man who paid to murder a 73 year old American nun is probably going to get away with it..
    Oh, yeah, the human rights advocates and the government have condemned what happened, but there is no outrage on the part of the populace in general.
    There’s an expression in this country: “The Rich don’t go to jail.”
    Unfortunately, it’s often true.

    Posted by Leighton Gage | May 14, 2008, 2:51 am
  6. more on the fear in Brazil over Death Squads,

    activists working to end poverty, Child Prostitution, environmental destruction,

    fear for their lives, see

    Posted by Tasha | May 14, 2008, 6:33 am
  7. The prosecution presented two days of excellent testimony defending Dorothy Stang. The defense lawyers presented lies, disinformation about Dorothy. Since in Brazilian law perjury is not a crime, people can say anything, as the witness for Bida, Tato, changed his testimony in the court for his 13th time. How Bida was freed is a travesty of justice, especially since only 8 months ago he was sentenced to 30 years by the same judge, the same, prosecutors, the same arguments. After two weeks of travelling throughout Brazil before and after the trial, I see a lot of grass roots support for my sister. We are appealing this case and we still have hope. Interestingly, renowned rain forest defender Marina Silval resisned as environmental minister yesterday, saying she lacked the necessary support to protect the Amazon. Marina was a great friend of my sister and cried publicly on TV when she heard the news of my sister’s murder. The farmers are still being murdered in the Amazon. The forest is still being burned down. There are many great people in Brazil and they are concerned. Perhaps we should start looking at the beef, illegal wood, and soy beans we are buying in this country that is being produced in the Amazon.
    David Stang

    Posted by David Stang | May 14, 2008, 4:30 pm
  8. Thanks for the update, David, grim and discouraging as it is. I received a copy of the biography recently published about your sister, Dorothy Stang, with the beautiful photo on the cover, the same photo as I used at the top of this post.

    I haven’t had a chance to read the book through yet, though I have skimmed it and love what I have read so far.

    Her courage in standing against what amounts to unconscionable evil is a constant inspiration to me, and the fact that her murderers have yet to come to justice is close to unbearable– and I never met or knew your sister.

    I will check out your book, Blood of the Wicked as well, Leighton Gage and thank you, too, for letting us know what you are seeing in Brazil.

    My best to you, in peace and solidarity,


    Posted by womensspace | May 14, 2008, 10:36 pm

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