Two activists murdered in Brazil

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Jose Ribeiro da Silva and his wife Maria do Espiritu Santo

AMAZON, BRAZIL—Two men have been found guilty of the murder of two activists in the Amazon rainforest. The men were sentenced to over forty years in prison, and a third man was accused of masterminding the attack. He was acquitted.

Jose Ribeiro da Silva and his wife Maria do Espiritu Santo were both shot dead in a forest reserve in Para in 2011. The couple was known to campaign against illegal logging in the Amazon, and also opposed the eviction of rural workers from land owned by a local farmer. Because of this, they faced many threats.

 

 The farmer was found not guilty of arranging the killings on Thursday, but Alberto Lopes do Nascimento and Lindonjonson Silva Rocha were given over 40 years of prison each.

 

Da Silva’s sister, Claudelice Silva, told reporters that the couple faced many enemies. “There were a lot of people who wanted them dead because they constantly denounced environmental crimes.” She stated. Local authorities backed this by stating that the couple often reported illegal activities of logging and cattle ranchers within the region.

 

The Catholic Land Pastoral—an organization that keeps track of land-related threads and death—stated that illegal logging and the conflicts surrounding it were responsible for the murder of thirty-two murders of local activists in the past year.

 

By: Julia Roake

Source: BBC

Image: BBC

05 April 2013

08:45am PDT

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