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Journalists used as "human shields" in shoot-out

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 18 April 2009, TV Liberal reporters Felipe Almeida and Victor Haôr reported to IPYS that they were used as "human shields", together with other journalists, by members of the Landless Rural Workers' Movement (MST), during a shoot-out with security agents. The MST was attempting to take over a farm in Pará, in northern Brazil. Seven farmers and one guard were wounded.

According to the journalists, the farmers, who were bearing guns, knives and sticks, attempted to seize control of the area where the farm's managers live, but the guards fought off the attack. The estate belongs to banker Daniel Santas. In February the farmers invaded some of the estate's land.

After the conflict, journalists and farm managers were prevented from leaving the property by foot. They had to leave on 19 April on a plane.

The police are investigating the case.

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