The Mothers of May

The Mothers of May in Brazil’s democracy - five years after the crimes in May 2006: truth and justice, yesterday and today!

São Paulo

The movement is a network of mothers, family and friends of victims of State violence, located in São Paulo, particularly in the Capital and in Santos. Created after the events that became known as the Crimes of May 2006, the group’s mission is to fight for truth, memory and justice for all victims of discriminatory, institutional and police violence against the poor, the afro-descendants and the Brazilian social movements, from yesterday and from today.

Several activities have been developed since the first families of victims of police violence began to overcome the grief from the death of their loved ones. The main areas of work are the hosting and solidarity among family and friends of the victims; the systematic reporting of cases and the status of investigations and law suits; the participation in debates, seminars, meetings, conferences, and mainly the planning of activities such as protests, marches, vigils, etc; and the strengthening of the National Network of Family and Friends of Victims of the State.

The group maintains a close partnership with the Network Against Violence in Rio de Janeiro, the Campaign “React or You will be Killed” in Bahia, the Association of Relatives of People Deprived of their Liberty in Minas Geraisand the Association of Relatives of Victims in Espírito Santo.


With the support of the Brazil Fund, the organization aims to mobilize mothers, families and friends of victims of the crimes of May 2006 in São Paulo to take the fight for Memory, Truth and Justice forward. In that year policemen and paramilitary death squads linked to the Police carried out what they called a “wave of response” to the “attacks committed by the PCC (1) “, as labeled by the traditional media. The result was the murder of at least 493 people – who are today among the dead and missing people – and, of these, over 400 individuals were young afro-descendant, indigenous-descendant and poor summarily executed.

Apart from participating in activities and meetings related to the topic, the group will produce a collection of video and written testimonials with the purpose of bringing the relatives closer to each other in this fight and seeking justice.

(1) PCC stands for “First Command of the Capital”. It is a well known criminal organization founded in 1993 in the prison of Taubaté in São Paulo.

Funding Line

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Main Themes

Guaranteeing the rule of law and criminal justice

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