Wednesday, 12 July 2017 06:00

Environmentalists in Brazil blame government for Amazon land violence Featured

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Plans to reduce forest protections linked to attacks on inspectors and campaigners, environmental groups said after two land rights activists murdered.
Environmental campaigners have blamed the Brazilian government and Congress for intensifying violence in the lawless Amazon after two land activists were murdered and a transporter carrying vehicles for Brazil’s environment agency was torched last week.
Activists said plans to reduce forest protection gave farmers, loggers and land grabbers a sense of impunity to attack government inspectors and activists squatting rural properties.


“We are seeing a very big increase in violence in rural areas, and the biggest cause is the posture, the behaviour and the policies being adopted in (the capital) Brasília,” said Marcio Astrini, policy coordinator for Greenpeace Brazil.

Controversial proposals in Brazil’s conservative Congress, where a powerful agribusiness lobby wields considerable influence, include liberalising strict environmental licensing regulations. Separately, the government wants to lower the legal protection for much of a 1.3m hectare forest reserve.

According to the Pastoral Land Commission, a not-for-profit group, 45 people have been murdered this year in land conflicts, compared to 61 in the whole of 2016.

On 6 July, Ademir Pereira, 44, local leader of a group called the League of Poor Peasants, was murdered at a car wash in Porto Velho, capital of Rondônia state, while his wife was meeting the local superintendent of Incra, a government land reform agency. He was shot dead by two men in a car.

Read 131 times Last modified on Wednesday, 12 July 2017 13:07

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