The destruction of the Amazon rainforest has increased by almost one-third over the past year. Environmentalists blame the weakening of legal protections passed by President Dilma Rousseff for the increase in deforestation.
Furthermore, there are proposals to build up to 60 hydroelectric dams at various stages of development across the Amazon, including at least six on the Xingu River. This will wipe-out massive tracks of Amazon rainforest, killing countless animals and destroying the homelands of indigenous tribes.
There are thousands of environmental and land-rights campaigners in Brazil who are fighting the destruction. However, more activists have been killed in Brazil than the rest of the world put together. On average, one activist has been killed in Brazil every week since 2002.
Most of the murders occur in remote regions of the Amazon – where loggers, ranchers and land-grabbers are seizing property from smallholders, subsistence communities and indigenous tribes.
Among the most recent victims were Adelino Ramos, who was gunned down after he exposed illegal loggers; Raimundo Nonato Chalub, who was killed on his farm after he denounced illegal deforestation and land seizures, and Dinhana Nink who was murdered in front of her six-year-old son after she vowed to name the gunmen threatening local smallholders. Nobody was charged in any of the cases.
The Brazilian president must act to reverse the destruction and stop the deaths of activists. Please sign the petition to help save the Amazon rainforest of Brazil.