Killer of American Nun in Brazilian Amazon Gets 30 Years in Jail

    Vitalmiro Bastos de Moura

    Vitalmiro Bastos de Moura Brazilian farmer Vitalmiro Bastos de Moura, "Bida", was sentenced to 30 years in jail for the death of American missionary and Amazon forest defender Dorothy Stang, in Anapu, state of Pará, in Brazil's Amazon region. The jurors concluded by 5 votes to two that he was guilty of the crime.

    The jury determined that the farmer was the crime's mastermind and a judge sentenced Moura to 30 years in prison, but the farmer still can appeal that verdict.

    The sentence is for 30 years of jail time for doubly qualified murder, with the aggravating factor that the victim was an old person. Moura will not be able to appeal his sentence in freedom, as his defense asked the judge. The "killing was carried out in violent and cowardly manner," Judge Raymond Moisés Alves Flexa stated.

    The verdict's announcement was noisily celebrated by about 900 farm workers who stayed in front of the court building during the two days in which the jury heard testimony before taking its decision.

    The jurors had started their deliberations on Monday, May 14. On Tuesday, May 15, the prosecutor Edson Cardoso made his case once again being followed by the arguments of lawyers Américo Leal and Eduardo Imbiriba, who worked for the defense.

    The missionary, who became a aBrazilian citizen, worked for 30 years in small communities of the Amazon defending the right of small ranchers to have a piece of land. She was also a strong advocate of the forest's sustainable exploration.

    Both gunmen who killed her, Rayfran das Neves Sales and Clodoaldo Carlos Batista, and the man who hired them, Amair Feijoli da Cunha, have already been tried, convicted and are in jail.

    Reginaldo Pereira Galvão, another farmer, who is charged with being another mastermind of the crime, is waiting for his trial in freedom.

    At first, on Monday, Moura, denied any involvement in the case and even said that he did not know the American missionary. His testimony was backed up by Sales, one of the men charged with having shot the nun and who was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

    The new version  presented by Neves declaring the farmer innocent was quite different from 12 other testimonies he had given previously incriminating Moura.

    Dorothy's brother, David Stang, said he was indignant at the recanted testimony: "I felt that my sister was murdered once again here. They attempted to hurt her moral of, to kill her image. I am angry and sad because of this. I didn't expect them to use this kind of strategy, but I still trust justice will be done in this land," he said on Monday. 

    After the verdict was read, David wept. "Justice was done," he told reporters. He added that he now believes that another farmer also accused of ordering the killing, Pereira Galvão, might also be convicted later in the year when he goes to trial.
    Dorothy Stang was shot to death in February 2005. According to prosecuting office, the missionary was murdered because she defended the creation of settlings for rural workers in public lands, which were claimed by farmers and lumbermen in the region.


    • Show Comments (10)

    • AES

      It is not that there is no Justice in Brazil, it is just that it is infrequent. But any good is to be celebrated. One murdering thief at a time.

    • AES

      Who says there is no justice in Brazil?

    • written by swiss pride laugh laugh laugh!!!,

      Hey CH.C !!! Is this law and order Swiss style???
      You must respond to this CH.C!!! This is not an isolated case…this is your country!!! Your people!!!
      Here are some of the headlines from the Swissinfo. Money Laudering is a 1.9 billion bussines for the Swiss Banks and they are very proud of it!!! Is corruption to a level of perfection no other country in the world can compare to. All the banks act like they didn’t know the money was blood tinted coming from Ferdinand Marcos or Saddan Husein… Ohhh well we did get cought so what??? We are not fighters we are bankers!!!

      Earlier this month the Swiss government released $84 million blocked in a corruption case into an independently monitored fund for the benefit of needy children in Kazakhstan.

      But just last week the Swiss federal prosecutor abandoned an investigation into suspected money laundering involving the former prime minister of Madagascar.

      As a result a Swiss bank will refund SFr2.8 million ($2.3 million) to Tantely Andrianarivo, a move that has “disappointed and shocked” the Madagascan government, which has demanded the money back.
      Total tinted money passed thru the Swiss banks 1.9 billion.
      À‚·The number of reports on suspicious transactions submitted to the Money Laundering Reporting Office of Switzerland reached 619 in 2006 À¢€“ down more than 15% on the previous year.
      À‚·But in 2006 assets amounting to SFr815 million Swiss francs were blocked, up 19.7% from about SFr681 million in 2005.

      À‚·Swiss foreign ministry
      À‚·Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland
      À‚·Dictators’ assets
      Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland – All-time High in Number of Reports on Suspicious Financial Transactions in Banking Sector
      Press Release, fedpol, 17.04.2007
      Berne. While the Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland (MROS) received fewer reports on suspicious transactions in 2006 than in the previous year, the quality of reports improved. However, reports from the banking sector on suspicious financial transactions reached an all-time high in the year under review. MROS is an agency at the Federal Office of Police.
      À‚·Suspicious banking dealings hit record high
      À‚·Nigeria denies misuse of Abacha money
      À‚·Money laundering regulations fail to meet targets

    • ch.c.

      To AES !!!!
      You will do far more Samba Dancing if you celebrate the number of crimes that have NOT been punished that those punished.

      After all some like dancing Samba more than others !!!!

      One murdering thief at a time, and 1000 impunity between 2 guilty criminals going in jail,……is the average norm…in Brazil !
      And proving me otherwise…would be quite difficult…even using the Brazilian stats from their Injustice dept !

      I bet that the Injustice Brazilian Ministry is much larger and powerful than the small and not even funded Brazilian Justice Ministry !!!!!
      That is why the Justice dept is in fact funded with limited resources by the Injustice dept !

      Viva Lula, the Brazilian Robin Hood, the one who steal from poors and give to riches !!!!
      He personally name those responsible… the Injustice dept !

      But a young 19 years old girl stealing a tube of butter, OBVIOUSLY deserves a 4 years jail term from this Unjustice dept.
      In Brazil you have more risk of a long term jail by stealing a good worth a few Reais than commiting a crime.
      True story….sadly !

      Viva Lula, the defender of inequalities !

      Right ?

    • forrest allen brown

      to slow to be any good
      if that is justice why are the police that killed the 111 people 14 years still out on appeal while the poor farmer has to sit out his while i jail .

      18 Leaders Have Been Killed in ParÀƒ¡, Brazil, Since US Nun’s Murder in 2005

    • ch.c.

      Who remember that just a few weeks ago, the second highest brazilian crook, Vice President Alencar, publicly stated that there are no slaves in brazilian sugarcane fields `??????

      In my view He better reads the 58 pages report…made on 2005 by MDA and INCRA, 2 brazilians Government Agencies…to my knowledge :
      Plano MDA/INCRA Para A ErradicaÀƒ§ao Do Tabalho Escravo

      In my view if there is effectively no slavery in your sugarcane fields
      – why is the image on the cover page of the report……a sugarcane worker ?
      – why is there a dept responsible to free slaves…if there are no slaves ?
      – why do we regularly read in Brazilian news about slaves having been freed…if there are no slaves ?
      – why MDA/INCRA wrote a report on a PLAN to eradicate slavery ?????
      – who can eradicate something…that doesnt exist as per Master Crook ?

      To AES : is that your definition of Justice ?????

      And puting in jail a few guys to show the world how Brazilians care, but giving impunity to thousands of others…is certainly not
      a honest and fair….JUSTICE…to the Brazilian society !!!!!!

      In Brazil just about everyone is corrupted to the roots.
      And lives are very very cheap if you read the recent article of the deaths squad arrest in the Northeast !!!
      That is only 1 death squad…..within many many many all over the country !!!!!!
      Deaths squads full of Police officers !!!!!!

      But Quite Normal… this Tropical Mud that Brazil truly is !!!!!!!

      Ohhh and forgotten the vote buying scandal when Lula said…. Impunity Will Not Be Tolerated, the investigators found many politicians guilty,
      the Ethic Committee of the Senate suggested the expulsion of those charged and found guilty.
      End Results ? ALL the guilty were pardoned, in a secret vote, by the other politicians just as corrupted as those they pardoned !!!!!
      And Lula had shut his mouth….OF COURSE !!!!!!!

      Great Justice `?????

      So great that almost all investigators …..disgusted…..RESIGNED !!!!!

    • ch.c.

      oops— correction…..
      NONE are in jail….TODAY !!!!!

    • ch.c.

      Who says there is no justice in Brazil ? ME !
      Please review your own stats.
      Out of well over 1300 killings in land dispute in Brazil during the last several decades, 15 criminals have been jailed.
      In Para alone, out of over 800 killings, 4 criminals were jailed. NONE at in jail….TODAY. One was pardoned by…..the then governor !!!

      Is that REALLY what you call justice or Injustice and impunity ??????

      In Brazil, the right to kill exist…if you have money !!!! It is simply not a written but a verbal right !

      Yesssss Brazil is a Banana Republic wether you like it or not.

    • João da Silva

      [quote]Who says there is no justice in Brazil?

      There is AES. I was chagrined about Sister.DorothyÀ‚´s murder and I see a closure on this case. A pity that we dont have capital punishment here. I would have prefered to see the SOBs swinging at the end of a rope.

    • jony

      let’s not stop now!!!

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