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Brazilian Superior Court of Justice's ruling that reinstated prison of defendants of slaughter case in Pará was upheld

According to the Chief Justice, the decision of the head of the Superior Court of Justice (STJ), Justice Laurita Vaz, who reinstated the prison, is in accordance with the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF) case-law in the sense that the threat posed by the defendant, evidenced by the risk of perpetrating more crimes, is suitable for precautionary custody.

The case

In May of last year, civilian and military police officers participated in an operation at Fazenda Santa Lúcia in Pau D'Arco, aiming at the preventive or temporary detention of 14 landless people who had committed murder, extortion, attempted murder and illegal possession of restricted weapons. During the operation, ten members of this alleged armed group were killed, of which five were supposed to have been arrested.

The police were accused by the state prosecutor's office (MP-PA) after investigations that rejected the policemen's version of accounts that they would have been shot at by the landless occupants.


In the preliminary examination of the HC, whose rapporteur is Justice Rosa Weber, Justice Carmen Lúcia, acting on duty during the judicial recess, found that the circumstances present and proven in the action lead to the dismissal of the injunction, due to the absence of legal plausibility of the defendants' arguments. She noted that the STJ's decision took into account the alleged involvement of police officers "in multiple murders, in criminal association, with cruelties, torture, and with strong evidence of manipulation of the crime scene, to cover up traces", moreover, the risk of damaging criminal proceedings, characterized by the threats to witnesses.


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