A Clifton Diocese priest ministering in Brazil has called for an end to a series of killings after a community leader seeking justice for landless people in the Amazon region was murdered. Father Leo Dolan, who has served in Brazil since 1970, is supporting the family of Adelino Ramos, who was shot to death in front of his wife and two of his daughters aged six and four. Dinho, as he was known, was gunned down in broad daylight. Speaking from Brazil Father Leo said: “Dinho’s murder was brutal, unjust and shocking. His needless killing is the latest in a long line of injustices that have been inflicted on poor and landless people. It needs to stop. For peace to triumph, the people responsible for the killings, especially those who order them, must come to justice. Brazil’s people do not deserve this.” Father Leo and communities in Brazil are being supported by fellow Catholics in the Clifton Diocese – the Catholic Church in the West of England.
Dr Derek Indoe of the Clifton Diocese Justice and Peace Commission has lived in Brazil and was a friend of Dinho’s. He said: “We have long been champions of Father Leo’s ministry and his passion for justice and for peace. Father Leo’s ministry centres on the preferential option the Church has made for the poor, which is central to Catholic social teaching.“All people like Dinho have done is to seek to have a piece of land that is their legal right to farm under the Brazilian constitution. They are peaceful people who are having violence brutally inflicted upon them. They are being murdered by people destroying the rain forest for their own gain.
“One of own priests – Father Leo Dolan – is standing with poor people in Brazil – and so are we. “Dinho was a friend of mine. I’ve spent time with him and his companions, ate at his table in his home in Porto Velho, and listened to his vision for the future for the Amazon Rainforest and dispossessed people. “Dinho’s coldblooded murder in front of his wife and children in broad daylight demands decisive action from those in authority who seek the good of Brazil and its people.”