Monday, May 30, 2011

PROTECTION Brazil peasants to death threats

The Brazilian government announced today that it will take "special measures" to protect tens of farmers threatened by their activities against employers accused of illegal deforestation in the Amazon and other crimes. "It will intensify the monitoring and research of all kinds of illegal and action will strengthen the sustainable development of the region," Amazon, told reporters the minister of Agrarian Development, Afonso Florence.

The minister took part today in a meeting that was convened by Vice President Michel Temer, after the last five days were killed separately, four peasant leaders and environmentalists from various regions of the Amazon. The meeting was reviewed a list prepared by the Pastoral Land Commission, an organization linked to the Catholic Bishops, which contains the names of "dozens" of farmers threatened with death, allegedly by employers or groups linked to illegal deforestation the Amazon region.

The names listed were not disclosed, but the government has said it will take "special measures" to protect the life of every one of those people. Six days ago, the peasant leader and ecologist José Claudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife, Maria do Santo da Silva Spirit, who led a group of families living on the chestnut harvest in a remote region of the Amazon state of Para, were shot dead by unknown assailants.

The couple had reported being threatened, he attributed to industrial illegally exploit commercially valuable timber in an area of approximately 22,000 hectares in which live about 500 farm families. On Friday, the agricultural leader Adelino Ramos was shot in the Amazonian state of Roraima.

He had also received threats and, likewise, condemned the illegal activities of groups dedicated to timber extraction. And on Sunday, in the state of Pará, authorities found the body of Eremilto Pereira dos Santos, who had apparently witnessed the murder of Ribeiro da Silva and his wife.

Dos Santos had disappeared several days, according to police, was killed with two shots to the head, fired at close range.

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