Amazon Anti-Logging Activist Murdered, Fifth Time this Happens in the Past Month...

Amazon rainforest photo

Photo: Wikipedia, Public domain.
The Stakes Couldn't Be Higher
Obede Loyla Souza was shot dead, and the most likely cause of his violent killing was a conflict between activists and companies over land and logging in Brazil's rainforest region. This is the fifth murder in a month that is believed to be linked to this situation, and the witness of one of these murders was also killed. "Witnesses who did not want to give their name told Hilario Lopes Costa, a co-ordinator for the watchdog Catholic Land Pastoral [CLP] in Para, said they saw four men in a pickup truck asking for Souza. They and Souza's wife are now afraid for their lives as well," Costa told the media.
Amazon rainforest photo

Photo: Wikipedia, Public domain.
Souza, 31, was part of a landless settlement that occupied unused farmland in 2008, setting up a camp whose name, Esperanca, means Hope.

He had been farming a small plot there alongside his wife and three children, while waiting for the government land redistribution programme to recognise their claim.

Costa said that in January, Souza got into an argument with a representative of loggers who are illegally harvesting wood in the region. He knew he was in danger from then on, said Costa.

"There is in this region a really dangerous group of loggers,'' said Costa.

"He had a fight with one of them over the cutting of these trees, and he was marked man from then on.'' (source)

More than 1,150 activists have been killed in conflicts related to land use and logging over the past two decades. There's also a list of around 125 activists who know their lives are in danger, but that's probably under-counting it.

Via Al Jazeera
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