Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Murder of Brazil official marks new low in war on Amazon environmentalists

From the Guardian - Luiz Alberto Araújo, a local government official in Pará state, was gunned down in front of his family: ‘It sends a message that no one is untouchable’

It was just after sunset in Altamira, a small town nestled on a curve of the Xingu river in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, when Luiz Alberto Araújo, the secretary for the environment on the city council, arrived home with his family.

Before he could get out of his car, two men on a motorcycle pulled up and the passenger shot seven bullets into the 54-year-old, who was still sitting in the driver’s seat.

The killer got off the bike, opened the car door and shot him twice more. Araújo slumped on to his wife, who was seated beside him. Neither she, nor his two stepchildren, were injured. No attempt was made to steal anything.

The killing, on Thursday 13 October, had all the hallmarks of the sort of assassination that is common in the lawless Pará state, in the eastern Amazon, where illegal logging, clandestine mining and modern slavery are rife.

More than 150 environmental activists have been killed in Brazil since 2012, with studies showing the country accounts for half the global toll of such murders.

Many of those killed, including the high-profile cases of Chico Mendes, Dorothy Stang and Zé Claudio Ribeiro da Silva, were campaigners. But Araújo was a government official, and advocates say his murder is a rare and worrying development.

The full article can be read here.

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