Dorothy Stang (Dorothy Mae Stang)

Dorothy Stang

Dorothy Stang, born in Dayton, Ohio, US, but a naturalized Brazilian citizen, worked as an advocate for the rural poor beginning in the early 1970s, helping peasants make a living by farming small plots and extracting forest products without deforestation. She also sought to protect peasants from criminal gangs working on behalf of ranchers who were after their plots. Dot, as she was called by her family, friends and most locals in Brazil, is often pictured wearing a t-shirt with the slogan, “A Morte da floresta é o fim da nossa vida” which is Portuguese for “The death of the forest is the end of our life.” On the morning of 12 February 2005, Stang woke up early to walk to a community meeting to speak about the rights for the Amazon. Ciero, a farmer Stang invited to the meeting, was going to be late. Ciero was a couple of minutes behind Stang, but he was able to see her and hid from the two armed men who followed her. Dorothy Stang progressed on and was blocked by the two men, Clodoaldo Carlos Batista and Raifran das Neves Sales, who worked in a livestock compagnie. They asked if she had any weapons, and she claimed that the only weapon would be her Bible. She then read a passage from the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the poor in spirit…” She continued a couple of steps but was suddenly stopped when Ciero called her, “Sister,” as she was held at gun point by Raifran. When Clodoaldo approved of discharging at Dorothy Stang, Raifran fired a round at Stang’s abdomen. She fell face down on the ground. Raifran fired another round into Stang’s back, then fired all four remaining rounds into her head.

On 1 May 2010, Regivaldo Galvão was also convicted of having ordered the murder. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison. On 21 August 2012, the Brazilian Supreme Court conceded an habeas Corpus to Regivaldo Galvão. The defense attorney claims that jury decided to condemn Reginaldo before all the legal recourses available to the defendant were exhausted. Regivaldo Galvão was freed the following day. On 15 May 2013, Brazil’s Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Vitalmiro Moura. On 19 September 2013, Moura was convicted of the murder for a fourth time and sentenced to 30 years in prison by a court in Pará State. In July 2013, das Neves Sales gained early release from prison. In September 20, 2014, Neves Sales was arrested again facing accusations of having killed a young man and woman with whom he had a drug deal. They supplied 50 kilograms of cocaine from Bolivia, but instead of paying them for the consignment, Sales fatally shot them.

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  • July, 07, 1931
  • USA
  • Dayton, Ohio


  • February, 12, 2005
  • Brazil
  • Anapu, Pará

Cause of Death

  • gunshot wounds

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