By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte and seven other foreigners – two Australians, a Filipino, four Nigerians, and an Indonesian, all convicted of drug trafficking, will be shot between tonight and tomorrow (April 29th) in Jakarta time. Gularte was arrested in July 2004 after entering Indonesia with six kilos of cocaine hidden inside surfboards and was sentenced to death in 2005.
The Brazilian Foreign Minister, Mauro Vieira, said on Saturday that the government is continuing regular contacts at the “highest level” with Jakarta, to try to convince Indonesia to suspend the execution on humanitarian grounds, as Gularte suffering from schizophrenia.
Vieira said the Brazilian diplomats in Jakarta continue providing consular assistance “as much as is possible” to defend the interests of Gularte, while respecting the sovereignty of the Asian country and recognizing the seriousness of the offense he committed.
Despite the Brazilian government’s continued diplomatic efforts to try to prevent the execution of Brazilian Gularte, the Indonesian authorities have already confirmed that he will also be shot along with the other convicted criminals.
On Sunday (April 26th) the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Ban Ki-moon called on the Indonesian government to not execute the prisoners, reiterating the organization’s traditional opposition of capital punishment. Yet Indonesian President Joko Widodo has held a hard line against drug dealers in the country, and refuses to give up on the executions.
In January, Indonesia performed six executions of convicted drug traffickers, including the Brazilian Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira, which caused a diplomatic crisis between Indonesia and Brazil. The Asian country, which resumed executions in 2013, after five years of moratorium, has 133 prisoners on death row, including 57 convicted of drug trafficking, two for terrorism and 74 other crimes.