Following up on the murder of a world-renowned Brazilian rain forest activist and his wife that I wrote about last week, it turns out another environmental activist in the rain forests of Brazil was shot and killed on Friday.
On Saturday, police confirmed that yet another rural activist was killed: Adelino Ramos, a land reform leader in the Amazon state of Rondonia, which borders Bolivia. Like the Silvas, he also denounced those who illegally cut the rain forest.
He was shot by a gunman or gunmen Friday morning. Fifteen years ago, he survived one of the deadliest land conflicts in Brazil, when police killed 10 of the so-called landless activists in an encampment on land they had occupied.
This doesn’t come as a big surprise after learning that over 1,000 rain forest activists have been killed in Brazil since 1988. But it doesn’t make the horror of it any less.
More from the AP, which has great coverage of the story:
“The impunity for killing us is getting worse by the day,” said Leonora Brunetto, a 65-year-old Roman Catholic nun and activist in the Amazon who is on the death-threat list. “We can cry out, denounce what is happening to the forest, but it continues. I see no end to it.”
Activists like Brunetto can be guarded by police, if they request it and if the threats against them are deemed real. She briefly took advantage of the protection years ago, but realized she was safer among the poor, small-scale farmers she counsels.
“You have no way of knowing if the policeman who is guarding you today will be bought off tomorrow by the same forces that hire the gunmen who kill Amazon defenders,” she said.
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