Luiz Albuquerque Coto
oil on canvas
40" x 30"
$3,000 (framed or unframed)

(Purchasing Information)


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.

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