An indigenous man by the name of Paulo Paulino Guajajara was murdered in a brutal attack by illegal loggers encroaching on tribal lands in the Amazon.
As Brazil burned this summer, the government did little to protect its precious natural resources. In fact, Paulo, also known as Lobo which means “wolf”, spoke with Reuters nine months ago and showed them the site of an ambush. Now he is the victim of one.
Lobo was part of a group of indigenous activists known as the “Guardians of the Forest”. He lived on a reservation known as the Araribóia reservation.
As part of the group, Lobo helped protect other tribes from invasion by illegal loggers. In fact, there is at least one completely uncontacted tribe on the land known as the Awá Guajá and would be very susceptible to Western diseases.
During talks with Reuters, Lobo outlined the agression and threats the group of 120 activists were facing. There had already been many clashes and some of those had resulted in deaths.
On November 1st, Lobo was brutally murdered by those threatening him. He had gone to collect water from a lake and was shot in the face at close range. Another indigenous activist named Laercio Guajajara was also shot.
Brazil on Fire
Brazil is a vitally important country because of its natural resources and those resources are under serious assault. Illegal logging, mining and agriculture which is encroaching on the tropical rainforests both in the Amazon and outside of it, have resulted in an ecological disaster without parallel in modern times.
This boiled over during the summer, when much of the region was on fire. Deforestation, caused by aggressive agriculture coming out of the Brazilian economic crisis of 2014 has placed enormous pressure on the region and led to truly massive wildfires.
The Brazilian government has faced increasing pressure from the international community to try to contain the situation but the president of Brazil, Bolsonaro, has sometimes referred to himself as “Captain Chainsaw” and took great pride in destroying the region in the name of economic progress.
Maybe with the death of Lobo and looking ridiculous on the international stage, things may change.