Ecology, News
comments 3

Rainforest activists murdered in Brazil

The bodies of Amazon rainforest activist Joao Claudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife Maria do Espirito Santo are carried to burial by friends and relatives, in the municipal cemetery of Maraba, in Brazil, on May 26, 2011. The identity of those responsible for the shooting in northern Brazil on Tuesday has not yet been determined, but da Silva predicted his own death six months ago, and was the recipient of frequent death threats by illegal loggers and cattle ranchers.

“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,” he said.

Watch his speech at TEDxAmazonia, below, in which he says he believes killing trees in the rainforest is murder (click the “cc” button in the player for English subtitles).


The murders of da Silva and his wife took place as Brazil’s Congress debates a divisive bill that threatens to further expand deforestation. Da Silva and Espirito Santo were active in the same organization of forest workers that was founded by legendary conservationist Chico Mendes. Al Jazeera has a video report here, and a first-person account from the funeral for the slain activist here.

More news coverage: NPRNew York TimesGuardianReutersTelegraph.

Photos above and below: Reuters

Via BoingBoing


Filed under: Ecology, News


Morgan Maher is an artist, writer, designer and researcher exploring food, medicine, plants, art and music.


  1. Ivan Boland says

    I see the people responsible have no thought for the human race or the the rain forest , they chase after money and the government is in no hurry to stop them .

  2. very sad this. hopefully the new government initiatives against the loggers will have some effect.

  3. Sharona says

    May their souls be up in the most beautiful Nirvana they could ever have imagined while alive! These people sacrificed themselves for the Good Cause.Two angels Now in Heaven and once here on Earth[ Amen]

Leave a Reply