Amazon Eco-activists Get State Protection

After the recent assassination of four activists, the Brazilian government is offering police and army protection to Amazonian environmentalists “deemed to be in the greatest danger.” Members of Brazil’s cabinet decided on the dramatic measures at an emergency meeting on May 31. The latest of the four Amazon activists to be killed was Adelino Ramos, a farmer and leader of the Corumbiara Peasant Movement in the state of Rondonia, who was gunned down on May 27 as he was selling roadside vegetables. José Claudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife, Maria do Espirito Santo da Silva, were murdered in the state of Para, and the farmer Eremilton Pereira dos Santos was found shot to death in the same area. Police have found no link between the killings, which occurred as lawmakers debated changes to Brazil’s forest code. The church’s Pastoral Land Commission maintains a list of 125 people who have received death threats.

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