Landless workers protest Amazon environmentalist killings
MARABA, Brazil — Poor workers in Brazil’s Amazon cut a key road through the vast forest Thursday to protest insecurity in the wake of recent murders of activists trying to preserve the region from illegal ranchers and loggers.
Around 200 members of the Landless Worker Movement barred the Transamazonica highway near the town of Maraba to demand Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff put an end to impunity for the killers, and guarantee their safety.
“Whatever murder in the field linked to environmentalists affects us, because we are of one and the same class and we are unified,” said the organizer, Ivagmo Brito, 29.
His group says it is also threatened by ranchers and loggers who pay hired killers to murder people opposing their activities.