Dorothy Stang

Dorothy Stang

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Dorothy Stang

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Dorothy Mae Stang (July 7, 1931–February 12, 2005) was an American-born, Brazilian sister of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur order, who was murdered in Anapu, a city in the state of Pará, in the Amazon Basin of Brazil. Stang was outspoken in her efforts on behalf of the poor and the environment, and had previously received death threats from loggers and land owners.

Life work

Stang, born in Dayton, Ohio, USA, 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 February 12, 2005, Dorothy and Ciero woke up early to walk to a community meeting to speak about the rights for the Amazon. Ciero, the farmer Stang invited to the meeting, was going to be late because of some interruptions. As Ciero was a couple of minutes away from Dorothy, he was able to see her but hid within the bushes from the two armed men. She progressed on and was blocked by the two men, Clodoaldo and Raifran. They asked if she had...
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