May 28 2011
Environmentalist leader Jose Claudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife, Maria, were murdered this week for speaking out about illegal land clearing in the Amazon.
They had reported illegal loggers to police and federal prosecutors, and that cost them their lives.
The number of murdered activists in Brazil is staggering. More than 1,150 rural activists have been brutally killed over the years, murdered by gunmen hired by loggers, ranchers and farmers who want to silence those protesting illegal cutting in the Amazon forest.
Brazil has no real interest in prosecuting the guilty, and fewer than 100 cases have even gone to court. Although 80 hired gunmen have been convicted, only one of the people behind ordering the killings is in prison.
In other words, Brazil is a world disgrace when it comes to protecting those who are trying to save the country’s natural resources.
The Amazon rainforest is already 20% gone, with no end in sight to it’s continuing destruction.
- Brazilian Amazon activist killed (bbc.co.uk)
- Furor Over Proposed Brazilian Forest Law (news.sciencemag.org)