An environmental activist couple and their 14-year-old daughter have been shot to death by armed gunmen at their home.
The bodies of Jose Gomes aka ‘Ze do Lago’, his wife Marcia Nunes Lisboa, and their 14-year-old daughter Joane, were found in a rural area of the municipality of Sao Felix do Xingu, in the state of Para, in northern Brazil.
The family of environmentalists were running a turtle breeding project at their home and made a living from fishing. One of the other children, reportedly a son, who has not been named, did not die in the killing and helped officers to identify the bodies.
Police officers reportedly retrieved 18 empty firearm cases from the scene, saying that the father, the mother and daughter had all been shot to death.
Teams of forensic experts from the Maraba Homicide Division in the city of Maraba, also in Para, are reportedly on their way to assist local police with their investigation.
The police currently believe that the three family members were shot to death three days prior to being discovered by the couple’s son, based on the state of decomposition of the bodies.
Marcia’s body was reportedly found near the river where the family fished for a living, while the body of the father and the daughter were found near the family home.
The authorities have yet to make any arrests and say that they are investigating the case. They did not put forward a potential motive for the murders.
But the Human Rights Defence Society of Para expressed concern about “another massacre” in the countryside and explained that the family carried out environmental protection activities and was known for its work with turtles.
And Amnesty International stressed that “threats, attacks and murders of human rights and environmental defenders are not isolated cases”.
Amnesty added: “The Brazilian State must act to contain the violence and the cycle of impunity that are advancing in the Amazon region and throughout the national territory.”