Environmentalists Risk Their Lives in Brazil
She has removed her bulletproof vest and the elite soldiers assigned to protect her have left. In return, Nilcilene Miguel de Lima, 45, had to promise the authorities that she would keep her whereabouts a secret and would not return to her native region in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, where a contract killer is waiting for her.
A mafia of timber merchants and cattle ranchers has placed a bounty worth the equivalent of €8,000 ($10,080) on her head. She is the president of Deus Proverà, an association of farmers and rubber tappers in the southern part of the state of Amazonas, where loggers and environmentalists are at war. Miguel de Lima had the audacity to file a criminal complaint against illegal logging…
Getting in the way of the ranchers can be very dangerous. Last year, 29 people were murdered in Brazil because of land disputes. “The crimes are not punished,” laments Francineide Lourenço of the church aid organization Comissão Pastoral da Terra in Manaus. Greenpeace workers only travel in armored SUVs in the jungle.
(Photo: Jens Glüsing/ DER SPIEGEL.)