by Staff Writers
Rio De Janeiro (AFP) Sept 19, 2011
Brazilian police have arrested two suspects over the killing in May of a husband and wife team of environmental activists who had been identifying illegal loggers, officials said Monday.
The police in the northern Amazon state of Para, one of the most restive regions in the country due to land disputes, arrested landowner Jose Rodrigues Moreira and his brother Lindonjonson Silva Rocha.
After evading capture for months, the two brothers were arrested on Sunday and a police spokesman said they were being transferred to a prison in the state capital Belem.
Officials accuse Rocha, acting on the orders of Rodrigues, of carrying out the killing of Jose Claudio Ribeiro da Silva, 52, and his wife Maria do Espirito Santo da Silva, 51.
The pair had been working for CNS, an Amazon-focused non-governmental group set up by legendary environmental activist Chico Mendes who himself was killed in 1988.
They were stopped in their vehicle on May 24 by unknown gunmen, taken out and shot dead.
According to their organization, the pair had been receiving death threats since 2008 over their work to preserve the rainforests and prevent illegal deforestation.
The deaths were among the first in a series of 10 murders in the Amazon region, which has seen growing frictions over land conflicts.
Most of the deaths have been farmers or activists trying to defend the rainforest.
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Cities to grab lands equaling size of Mongolia In next 20 years
College Station TX (SPX) Sep 19, 2011
In the next 20 years, more than 590,000 square miles of land globally - more than twice the size of Texas - will be gobbled up by cities, a trend that shows no signs of stopping and one that could pose threats on several levels, says a Texas A and M University geographer who is part of a national team studying the problem. Burak Guneralp, a research assistant professor in the Department of ... read more
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