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Brazilian Activist Obede Souza Murdered By Illegal Loggers He Opposed - 5th Murder In June Alone

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-16-11 12:36 PM
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Brazilian Activist Obede Souza Murdered By Illegal Loggers He Opposed - 5th Murder In June Alone
A rural worker who confronted illegal loggers operating in the Brazilian state of Par was found murdered near his home, reports the Associated Press. Murdered on the Esperanca landless settlement, his death is likely related to ongoing conflicts between loggers and farmers in the Esperanca community. The victim, Obede Souza, is the fifth person to be murdered this month after standing up to illegal loggers.

"There is in this region a really dangerous group of loggers. He had a fight with one of them over the cutting of these trees, and he was marked man from then on," explained Hilario Costa, the coordinator for the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT). A human-rights watchdog group, the CPT monitors threats by loggers, farmers, and ranchers against environmental and social activists.

Obede Souza, 31, was a rural worker who lived in Esperanca (Hope), a landless settlement formed in 2008, which is occupying unused farmland in hopes of pushing agrarian reform; Souza and his family farmed while waiting for the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) to settle the community's land claims. According to the Associated Press, Souza argued with a representative of loggers harvesting Brazil nut trees (Bertholletia excelsa), a species protected by law. Souza wanted the loggers to halt their operations because their trucks continually blocked Esperanca's roads and made them impassable, posing difficulties for the whole community, reports Paran Online.

Souzas body was found in the forest surrounding his house in the Esperanca. Paran Online reports he had been executed by a rifle shot through the ear less than 500 meters from his door on June 9th. Hilario Costa says witnesses told him four men in a pickup truck had asked for Souza, adding that Souza's wife and three young children now fear for their lives. Federal officers took Souza's body to the state capital, Belm, for an autopsy, and returned the body Tuesday for burial, reports the Associated Press.

EDIT

http://news.mongabay.com/2011/0615-moukaddem_bloody_jun...
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-16-11 01:01 PM
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