Luiz Albuquerque Coto
oil on canvas
40" x 30"
$3,000 (framed or unframed)
Since 1967, Luiz Couto has dedicated his life to working alongside various
civil organizations that struggle for a fair and dignified life. In 1976, Couto
was one of the founding members of the Human Rights Defense Center in the Archdiocese
of Paraiba. In 1993, he was elect ed State Representative and in 1995, he became
vice president of the Human Rights Commission in Parraiba’s Legislative
Assembly, and then became president in 1998.
Because of this work, he was persecuted by other state representatives. For
instance, other representatives who were involved with cases being investigated
by the Human Rights Commission would bring firearms to the legislative assembly,
openly brandishing them to Couto when they bumped into him. His office also
received frequent telephone threats.
Unfazed, Couto helped lead investigations into the murder of a local student,
investigations into rural violence and local private militias and discovering
the civil and military police officers that were involved with death squads
that committed crimes against rural landless workers.
Finally, in April, 2002, the president of the State House of Representatives
assigned Couto a personal bodyguard, although no inquiry was ever opened to
investigate the death threats against him. Currently, Couto is serving as a
federal congressman, and continuing his work for human rights in northern Brazil.
All images on this site are copyright © 2008 by Tom Block Arts.
Please contact the artist for use of these images.