Killing the healers with impunity

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If the corruption of American politicians makes you sick, take heart: those in Brazil and other parts are not much better, as the condition is systemic and fully transnational.

José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife Maria. Rest in peace, comrades, you will be missed, and some day we will avenge you.

José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife,  Maria do Espírito Santo da Silva,  were shot from ambush on May 24,  2011 near their home in Nova Ipixuna,  Para state,  Brazil.  “According to a local newspaper,  Diário do Pará, the couple had not had police protection despite getting frequent death threats because of their battle against illegal loggers and ranchers,” reported Guardian correspondent Tom Phillips from Rio de Janiero.  Their murders came six years after the similar assassination of U.S. nun Dorothy Stang and 23 years after the murder of rubber-tapper Chico Mendes,  who both also fought to protect Amazon habitat.  The da Silva killings came two days before the Brazilian House of Deputies voted 410-63 in favor of a bill to ease restrictions on logging in the Amazon region. Another anti-rainforest logging activist, Adelino Ramos,  was killed on May 29.  Altogether 1,150 rural activists have been killed in Brazil during the past 20 years,  reported Bradley Brooks of Associated Press.  “Of all those killings,  fewer than 100 cases have gone to court.  About 80 hired gunmen have been convicted.  Only 15 or so of the people who ordered killings faced charges.  And just one of them is known to be in prison,”  Brooks wrote. SOURCE: ANIMAL PEOPLE.

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