Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Brazilian rainforest defender murdered

The Guardian reports (Amazon rainforest activist shot dead):
Six months after predicting his own murder, a leading rainforest defender has reportedly been gunned down in the Brazilian Amazon. José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife, Maria do Espírito Santo, are said to have been killed in an ambush near their home in Nova Ipixuna, in Pará state, about 37 miles from Marabá. According to a local newspaper, Diário do Pará, the couple had not had police protection despite getting frequent death threats because of their battle against illegal loggers and ranchers.
"I could be here today talking to you and in one month you will get the news that I disappeared. I will protect the forest at all costs. That is why I could get a bullet in my head at any moment … because I denounce the loggers and charcoal producers, and that is why they think I cannot exist. [People] ask me, 'are you afraid?' Yes, I'm a human being, of course I am afraid. But my fear does not silence me. As long as I have the strength to walk I will denounce all of those who damage the forest."
- José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva, TEDxAmazonia


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  2. Another Amazon activist killed in logging conflict
    "RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A landless peasant activist was killed by a gunshot to his head outside his home in Brazil — the fifth murder in a month likely tied to the conflict over land and logging in the Amazon.

    The body of the victim, Obede Loyla Souza, was found over the weekend in the dense forest surrounding his home in the landless settlement of Esperanca, near the town of Pacaja in the Amazon state of Para, said Hilario Lopes Costa, coordinator for the watchdog Catholic Land Pastoral in Para."


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