Rural leaders assassinated in Amazonia
José Claudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife Maria do Espirito Santo da Silva, were executed in an ambush by gunmen on the road close to their home at Nova Ipixuna (Para state, Brazil). They were active and friendly collaborators of the French ANR AMAZ Project in which CIAT collaborated with IRD at sites in Caqueta (Colombia). Farmers and leaders of the Projeto Agroextrativista, they were an example for those who defend forest biodiversity with dignity in integrated collective projects. Members of the Conselho Nacional das Populaçes Extrativistas (CNS), ONG funded by Chico Mendes, they lived and produced in sustainable ways in a farm with 80% preserved forest, extracting Brasil nut and fruits from native plants (cupuaçu, açai). They had repeatedly informed the national and international communities of the threats they received from forest loggers and coal fabricants. In the name of the AMAZ research group, we express our profound sadness in front of this crime that adds to a long list and solidarity and friendship to their families, friends and associates.