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  • A relative of one of the victims who was killed during a police raid on the Santa Lucia farm in May 2017.

    A relative of one of the victims who was killed during a police raid on the Santa Lucia farm in May 2017. | Photo: Reuters

“Instead of the Federal Police augmenting ... their energy focused on the investigation, they're reducing it,” Frigo said.

Brazil's National Council of Human Rights and the Brazilian Committee of Human Rights Defenders are concerned with the investigations into the massacre of 10 rural workers on the Santa Lucia farm in Para state after the team of federal police investigating the crime was not renewed by the federal government and the federal police deputy leading the investigation has gone on vacation.

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“The moment is crucial for the investigation. And the deputy leaves when he's searching for those responsible for the crime via reports,” said Darcy Frigo, president of CNDH and the NGO, Land of Rights.

He added that when the federal deputy police went on vacation amid the investigations, especially during a period of increased violence against campesinos, it alarmed human rights organizations.

“Instead of the Federal Police augmenting ... their energy focused on the investigation, they're reducing it,” Frigo said.

In an attempt to assist in the investigations, the representatives from several human rights organizations have solicited a meeting with the Minister of Justice and Public Safety Torquato Lorena Jardim, as well as requesting that an external investigative team is sent to the area considering the fact that military and civilian police were involved in the massacre.

Lorena Jardim has yet to respond to the request.

On May 24, ten rural workers, nine men, and one woman, on the Santa Lucia farm in the town of Pau D'Arco were killed by Brazil's military and civilian police as part of an eviction order led by state forces.

Survivors, witnesses and victims' family members contradicted claims by the police that said they were met with a barrage of gunfire as soon as they arrived at the farm. The campesinos said that the police arrived on the scene shooting and made no attempt to inform anybody of a legal order, with some adding that the woman killed had a bullet wound in her back.

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