by Staff Writers
Rio De Janeiro (AFP) July 26, 2011
A 46-year-old farmer has been shot dead in Brazil's Para state in the Amazon, which has long been the scene of violent land disputes, a Catholic Church-linked observer body said Tuesday.
But Jose Batista -- a lawyer for the Pastoral Land Commission, which monitors land disputes in the Amazon -- said he could not say if the victim was directly involved in any conflict over land use and ownership.
"The police are investigating. We still don't have any information that would help confirm if this was due to a land dispute," said Batista.
The farmer was shot at point-blank range on Sunday when he was riding his motorcycle along a country path and stopped to open a gate, he said.
In May and June, six people were killed in Para and Rondonia, another Amazon state, including a couple of environmental activists who had denounced illegal logging in the area.
The Pastoral Land Commission has published a list of 125 activists and Amazon residents said to be on a death-threat list. The couple killed in May were on the list.
Although the government has taken urgent measures to protect the others, it has admitted that it does not have the means to guard all of them.
Friends and colleagues of the victims say powerful land barons have ordered the killings in retaliation for complaints by activists and poor residents about logging and ranching activities.
The commission estimates that 800 people have been killed in Para state over such disputes in the past four decades.
Last month, Amnesty International accused the Brazilian government of "failing in its duty to protect" the activists and locals, and "using the courts to harass them and criminalize dissent".
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Eight jailed over Chinese tainted pork scandal
Beijing (AFP) July 25, 2011
A court in China on Monday jailed five people for "endangering public safety" after they were convicted of selling an illegal fat-burning chemical to pork producers, state media said. The sentencing in the central province of Henan was broadcast live on state television, highlighting the level of official and public concern over tainted pork, which is a staple in the Chinese diet. Liu Xi ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|