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Brazil: Paper industry union president murdered

28 November, 2014Ozano Pereira da Silva, 77, president of the Guarulhos, Aruja and Itaquaquecetuba Union of Paper Industry Workers, was strangled at the union office.

According to witnesses, two armed men entered the union office on 24 November. About 20 people were present, including union employees and patients of a dentist who was treating union members.

The two men tied the hands of the hostages together and placed plastic bags over their heads. According to the police, the criminals had been at the offices for two hours before the union president arrived. They took him and the treasurer to a back room and strangled the president. The treasurer survived.

The union has said that the murder of its president was an act of personal vengeance. A hostage heard one of the criminals say they were there for one person only. When the criminals came into the union office, Ozano was not present and the killers forced his secretary to phone him and ask him to come to the union office.

Ozano had been president of the union for 29 years. He was also president of the São Paulo State Federation of Paper Industry Workers.

IndustriALL Global Union Pulp and paper director Anatoly Surin condems the murder:

"We are concerned over this violent and abhorrent act on a trade union leader. We hope that Brazilian authorities will take all the steps necessary to detain and prosecute the authors of the crime."