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Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Brazil: kidnapped missionaries freed
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 The three Consolata missionaries kidnapped in northern Brazil on Monday have been freed this morning. Fathers Ronildo França and César Avellaneda, and Brother João Carlos Martinez ­ were abducted at dawn, with a group of students, on 6 January on the orders of a group of illegal estate owners and business people. They were held hostage for three days in the village of Contão inside the indigenous territory of Raposa/Serra do Sol in Roraima State. The three religious are in good health. They have been transferred to a safe place, local sources told MISNA. The report does not mention whether the students have also been freed. One person said: "I was surprised because until just before their release the abductors said explicitly that they would not free the hostages until the government of Brasilia had reviewed its decision to homologise the indigenous territory of Raposa/Serra do Sol." "In announcing the release, a local TV station also broadcast a declaration made by a representative of the federal public prosecutor, who said the definitive assignment of the land to the indigenous people under the terms set out in 1992 was not in question." Meanwhile, in the state capital Boa Vista, the sectors of the population, white farmers and businessmen, opposed to returning Indian lands to the indigenous people are continuing their protest, and fuel supplies are beginning to run low. The roads linking the State with Manaus, Guyana and Venezuela are still blocked, while the mass media are continuing to incite civil disobedience against the government decision to assign Raposa/Serra do Sol to the 15,000 Macuxi, Wapixana, Ingarikó, Patamona and Taurepang Indians who live there. Source: MISNA
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