Nicinha’s body is identified by DNA testing

The scientific technical support unit of the State Police in Rondônia (RO) confirmed that the body found six months ago in the reservoir created by the Jirau Hydroelectric Dam belonged […]

The scientific technical support unit of the State Police in Rondônia (RO) confirmed that the body found six months ago in the reservoir created by the Jirau Hydroelectric Dam belonged to a woman militant of the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB).

photo of nicinha

 On Tuesday December 13, the scientific technical support unit of the Police (known as Politec in Portuguese) of the state of Rondônia announced the results of the DNA test confirming the murder of Nilce de Souza Magalhães, better known as Nicinha. Family relatives and members of the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) are now preparing a tribute and a political act in memory of this fisherwoman, who was affected by the Jirau Hydroelectric Dam (HD).

Nicinha, a militant of MAB, disappeared on January 7, 2016 in Porto Velho. Her body was found on June 21, five months later, only 400 meters from her old house in the fishing camp near the Mutum River. Her remains were found at the bottom of the reservoir of the Jirau HD with her hands and legs tied to a rock.

In the same month, Nicinha’s daughters recognized their mother’s wristwatch, the bottom piece of a bikini, and a pair of shorts found together with the remains. However, for the body to be released, it required the confirmation of a DNA test, which would be carried out by the Secretariat of Security in the state of Mato Grosso due to the absence of this service in Rondônia.

Family relatives and friends are now waiting for the release of the body to prepare its burial ceremony, which will take place in Porto Velho, RO.


Nicinha was known in Rondónia for her fight in defending the affected populations of the Jirau HD, as well as her participation in the denunciations of human rights violations committed by the Sustainable Energy of Brazil consortium (Energia Sustentável do Brasil – ESBR), owners of the Jirau HD. A daughter of rubber tappers who came from the state of Acre to Abunã district in Porto Velho, RO, where she then lived for almost fifty years, was forced to move to “Velha Mutum Paraná” with other fisher folks when the Jirau HD was constructed. There was no access to drinking water or electricity at this new location.

Over the years several denunciations were made, thanks to the leadership of fisher folks who participated in public hearings and demonstrations pointing out the serious impacts made on fishing activity in the Madeira River. The accusations led to two civil investigations that are being carried out by the Federal and State Public Prosecution offices. One is regarding the non-implementation of the state’s program to support fishing activity. The second investigation of a more criminal nature is following the data manipulation in monitoring reports of fishing activity in the Madeira River.

Criminal investigation

The jury trial of the two people accused of killing Nicinha, defendants Edione Pessoa da Silva and Leonardo Batista da Silva, was scheduled to take place last Wednesday on December 7, eleven months after the disappearance of Nicinha.

However, the trial was adjourned due to the defense’s request. The First Circuit Court of the region of Porto Velho rescheduled the jury trial due to the late attachment of an expert examination that was carried out one day before the jury trial was to take place. The law requires these attachments to be carried out at least 72 hours before trial takes place. 

Members of MAB demand the punishment of all those involved in the murder of Nicinha, in addition to the full investigation into the motives of the crime.

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| Publicado 21/12/2023 por Coletivo de Comunicação MAB PI

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