RIO DE JANEIRO — Communities in remote corners of Brazil’s Amazon jungle are facing repeated assaults and death threats from illegal loggers who want to steal their lands, Amnesty International said Wednesday.
The human rights group said there was no police presence in parts of Brazil’s northwestern Amazonas state and no investigation into illegal activities reportedly taking place there.
“Those living in the region are in danger,” it said in a statement, urging Brazilian authorities to protect local residents and stop the illegal logging.
The target of the invading land-grabbers known as “grileiros” and illegal loggers are small communities living from timber extraction in legally recognized reserves located south of the town of Labrea.
Many residents have fled the region fearing for their lives, Amnesty said.
Dinhana Nink was gunned down in front of her son in a nearby town in Rondonia state where she has sought refuge after her house was set ablaze, the statement said.
Community leader Nilcilene Miguel de Lima, who has denounced the influx of illegal loggers in the reserves, was beaten up, threatened with a pistol and had her house set ablaze. She has been under armed protection by federal agents since October, according to Amnesty.
In April, she had to be evacuated by authorities after her dog was shot in the head and killed, it said.
The police station covering the area is located hundreds of kilometers (miles) north of Labrea and can be reached only by air.