Wednesday, April 3, 2013

week trial of the men accused of killing two militants last year highlights the continuing problems facing the Amazon

Wednesday in the Brazilian state of Par?, begins the trial of three men accused of the murder of Jos? Cl?udio Ribeiro da

and his wife Maria do Espirito Santo, who had campaigned against the loggers and ranchers for years. His murder in May 2011 has generated international outrage, such as Chico Mendes, 25 years ago, and the American nun Dorothy Stang home in 2005.

"This document describes the issues and challenges of the Amazon today," says Felipe Milanese political ecologist, who attended the trial. "This is something we have not tried to past 30 years. The same thing happened with Mendes and Claudio happened to Dorothy, and others will defend the forest. "

These highly publicized murders are only the tip of the iceberg. In Par? alone, 231 people died and 809 were threatened with death between 1996 and 2010, according to the Pastoral Land Commission NGO (CPT), while in 2011 78 people have received death threats and 12 people died.

"Violence is the tool of local capitalism," says Milanese. "They are proud to have killed and are considered by some local heroes who defend their property with their blood. 'S Crazy, but that's what happens there. "

tests like Wednesday's are extremely rare. According to the CPT, 918 people killed by the Brazilian Amazon between 1985 and April 2011, the tests were performed in only 27 cases.

"The only ones who have the real possibility of going to trial receive the attention of the national authorities, in particular the international press," said Brazilian journalist Eliane Brum. "This sends the message that impunity is allowed and murder is a way to" solve "conflicts over land or people struggling to silence social justice."

A man of judgment is Jose Rodrigues Moreira, including the controversial purchase of 144 hectares of primary forest and the eviction of families who live graze Ribeiro da Silva and opposite accused the government land agency, INCRA.

Some fear violence may increase after environmental laws recently passed.

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