Two Native Brazilians went into the woods to fetch water. One did not come back. The men campaigned for the protection of the Amazon forest. They were allegedly attacked by lumberjacks.

Two Native Brazilians went into the woods to fetch water. One did not come back. The men campaigned for the protection of the Amazon forest. They were allegedly attacked by lumberjacks.
Activist Paulo Paulino fought for the protection of the Amazon forest

Indigenous activist Paulo Paulino was shot dead in the northeastern state of Maranhao by illegal loggers, local authorities and the human rights organization Survival International said. Another activist was injured but was able to escape. The two men belonged to the so-called "guardians of the forest" - a group that tries to protect areas of indigenous peoples from illegal logging.

"Bring those responsible to justice"

According to the Maranhao Human Rights Secretariat, the Guajajara tribe left their village to fetch water from the forest when they were surrounded by "at least five armed men." According to authorities, a lumberjack was missing after the incident. Information that he was also killed in the attack has not yet been confirmed. Brazilian Justice Minister Sergio Moro said on Twitter that the police had investigated murder. It was "important to bring those responsible to justice".
Brazil deforestation of the jungle (picture-alliance / Mary Evans Picture Library / N. Gordon)
The rainforest must give way to animal husbandry
Greenpeace condemned the attack on the two activists. 26-year-old Paulino and his injured companion Laércio are "the latest victims of a state that refuses to comply with the provisions of the constitution," the organization said. Greenpeace denounced "the inability of the state" to comply with its duty to protect indigenous activists and their territories.

Protecting Amazon from illegal clearance

Sarah Shenker, who visited the area for the Survival International organization a few months ago, told AFP that Paulino had fought with determination to protect the forests despite the death threats. The lack of commitment by the Brazilian government is driving the indigenous people to take on the "hard and dangerous job".
The "Guards of the Forest" were founded by the Guajajara, a tribe of about 14,000 people in the state of Maranhao. The activists have set themselves the goal of defending areas of indigenous peoples threatened by illegal logging and agricultural expansion. Among other things, they pass on GPS data from areas where they find deforested tree trunks, and they also support the fire brigade in the fight against forest fires.

More violence in indigenous protected areas

The Catholic Indian Missionary Council blamed President Jair Bolsonaro's policies for increasing violence in the indigenous protected areas. The indigenous people could no longer move freely on their own land today, the council said. Due to budget cuts at the Indian agency, there are almost no more patrols. Illegal intrusion into the protected areas is hardly punished. According to the Mission Council, 160 cases of illegal entry into protected areas were counted from January to September.
Brazil |  Fires in the Amazon (Reuters / B. Kelly)
Illegal slash-and-burn? A few months ago, a huge area of ​​the Amazon forest burned down
President Bolsonaro has been criticized internationally for months for his controversial environmental policy . He is accused of advocating the commercial exploitation of protected Amazonian areas. Bolsonaro is closely associated with the Brazilian agrarian lobby and doubts human responsibility for climate change.
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