Brazil’s rural and environmental activists are being killed in record numbers. 2016 was the deadliest year since 2003 with 61 killings and hundreds threatened, making Brazil the deadliest country in the world to be a rural or environmental activist. It’s an upward trend; 2014 and 2015 were also record years.
The majority of the killings happen in Brazil’s Pará state where activists are killed resisting illegal deforestation, illicit gold mining and landgrabbing. The vast majority of the murders go unpunished and experts say this impunity fuels further violence.
I would travel to Pará state in the Amazon where the murder took place to investigate and speak to the family. The region is ground zero in terms of Brazil’s environmental conflict, undergoing mass illegal deforestation, illegal gold mining and land grabbing. I have great contacts in the region.