#SinCienciaNoHayFuturo

Asesinan a Ze Claudio, símbolo de la defensa de la Amazonía

Publicado: 2011-05-25

(por Guillermo Reaño) La noticia es desgarradora y nos llegó a través de O eco, el portal de noticias ambientales más importante de Brasil. El lunes pasado, sicarios contratados presumiblemente por madereros de la región, asesinaron a sangre fría al líder castañero Claudio José Ribeiro da Silva, Ze Claudio y a su esposa Maria del Espirito Santo, vinculada también a la defensa de la naturaleza. La pareja salía, lo acabamos de leer en Internet, de una reunión en el proyecto Agroextractivista Praia Alta Piranheira, en el municipio de Nueva Ipuxina, en el estado del Acre, una de las zonas más desvastadas (y violentas) de la Amazonía brasileña. Increíble, los asesinos de los ambientalistas actuaron con la misma alevosía con la que hace más de veinticinco años una gavilla de delincuentes a sueldo segaron la vida de  Chico Mendes, símbolo mundial del ecologismo contemporáneo.

Los métodos han sido los mismos, repetidos, idénticos. Primero las presiones, luego las amenazas de muerte y al final los disparos en medio del silencio cómplice de los que lo vieron todo y tienen que callar para seguir viviendo. Miles de hectáreas del bosque amazónico se siguen talando mientras que los gobiernos de turno, el de Lula y ahora el de Drussef, hacen poco por detener una sangría que enluta a miles de familias pobres de la Amazonía del Brasil. Ze Claudio venía recibiendo continuas amenazas de muerte y en Manaos, en el contexto de la TEDxAmazonía llegó a decir: “mi trabajo es promover el bosque.  Defiendo los bosques y a sus habitantes, debido a ello estoy amenazado por los empresarios de la madera y por aquellos que no quieren ver el bosque en pie. Eso me ha causado problemas. Cuando hablamos de la  vida, nosotros queremos seguir con vida…” Idéntico alegato por la vida, la misma muerte. Y los matarifes de tantos defensores de la tierra siguen vivos. Qué mala noticia.

Ver:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=78ViguhyTwQ

Killing in the name of deforestation: Amazon activist and wife assassinated

José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife, Maria do Espírito Santo da Silva, were gunned down last night in an ambush in the city of Nova Ipixuna in the Brazilian state of Pará. Da Silva was known as a community leader and an outspoken critic of deforestation in the region.

Police believe the da Silvas were killed by hired assassins because both victims had an ear cut off, which is a common token for hired gunmen to prove their victims had been slain, according to local police investigator, Marcos Augusto Cruz, who spoke to Al Jazeera. Suspicion immediately fell on illegal loggers linked to the charcoal trade that supplies pig iron smelters in the region.

José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva, who also went by the nickname 'Ze Claudio', was a vocal critic of illegal logging in Pará, a state in Brazil that is rife with deforestation. He also worked as a community leader of an Amazon reserve that sold sustainably harvested forest products.

Da Silva had received countless death threats and had frequently warned that he could be killed at any time, however he was refused protection by officials.

"I will protect the forest at all costs. That is why I could get a bullet in my head at any moment … because I denounce the loggers and charcoal producers, and that is why they think I cannot exist," da Silva said in a TED Talks last November, adding "but my fear does not silence me. As long as I have the strength to walk I will denounce all of those who damage the forest."

Clara Santos, the niece of the da Silvas, told BBC that the couple had suffered death threats for 14 years. A report compiled by Brazil's Catholic Land Commission, a human rights group, in 2008 listed Da Silva as one of the environmental activists most likely to be assassinated.

The double assassination comes at a fateful time for the Amazon rainforest. Politicians in Brazil are considering changing to its Forest Law, which would allow ranchers and farmers to cut down a higher percentage of forest on their land. A vote may occur today.

Brazilian environmental journalist, Felipe Milanez, has said the assassination of da Silva has created 'another Chico Mendes'. Mendes was a rubber trapper turned Amazon activist whose 1988 assassination catalyzed efforts to save the Amazon.

Da Silva's killing comes six years after Dorothy Stang, an American nun who fought against deforestation, was slain by gunmen hired by a cattle rancher, also in the state of Pará. Her death was met by a sharp crack-down by the Brazilian against illegal forest clearing.

Nearly 20% of the Brazilian Amazon has been destroyed.


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