BBC Home > BBC News > Americas

Brazil nun case witness is shot and wounded

29 November 09 11:43 GMT

A witness in the case of an American nun who was murdered in the Brazilian Amazon has been shot several times and is in a critical condition.

He was reportedly attacked just hours after being summoned to testify in a fraud case against one of the ranchers accused of ordering the nun's murder.

Dorothy Stang, 73, campaigned to preserve the rainforest and protect the rights of rural workers.

Her killing in 2005 caused international outrage.

The attack on witness Roniery Lopes took place in the same area where Stang led her decades-long campaign.

He was due to testify against Regivaldo Galvao, who is accused of trying to use false documents to obtain the plot of land Stang died trying to defend.

Mr Galvao and fellow rancher Vitalmiro Moura have been accused of hiring gunmen to kill the nun, who came from Dayton, Ohio.

Mr Galvao, who denies the charge, was arrested in 2005 but was freed on bail in 2006 and has not faced trial.

Mr Moura was acquitted at a trial in 2008 but a new trial was ordered earlier this year.

Related BBC sites

*