May 17, 2018
Since the end of 2017, human rights defender Rivelino Zarpellon has been the target of surveillance and threats. Between the end of April and the beginning of May 2018, the homes of several of the defenders’ friends and relatives were visited by unknown men, travelling on motorcycles, who said they were looking for Rivelino Zarpellon. On 10 May 2018, the defender recorded the incessant passage of a suspicious motorcyclist on the street where he lives.
Rivelino Zarpellon is a human rights defender and a lawyer of 18 years. He is a legal advisor to the Union of Workers in Public Education of the State of Pará (SINTEPP) and the Union of Workers in Health in the State of Pará (SINDSAUDE). He is also the President of the Human Rights Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association (Xinguara Subsection). The human rights defender, who has been particularly active in the state of Pará, has worked on many emblematic cases, including cases of corruption that led to the dismissal of several judges in Pará’s Xinguara District.
In conjunction with the Pastoral Commission of the Land of Pará (CPT-PA), Rivelino Zarpellon has also been working on the case of the Pau D’Arco Massacre, where 10 rural workers were killed by police officers in May 2017. He was present during the plea bargain testimonies of two of the police officers involved in the massacre. Late last year, excerpts of the video of the testimonies were leaked and circulated in Whatsapp groups. Rivelino Zarpellon, who appears in the leaked videos, began receiving threats shortly afterwards and he heard rumours that his name was on a list of “people marked to die”. The Federal Human Rights Defenders Program (PPDDH) was made aware of the threats and at the end of 2017 Rivelino Zarpellon was temporarily relocated outside of his hometown of Xinguara.