Activist Murder Adds to Death Toll in Brazil Amazon

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A peasant activist was murdered in Para state, in Brazil’s Amazon, in the latest of a spate of apparent hired killings which some have linked to land conflicts.

Obede Loyla Souza was shot dead outside his home in the settlement of Esperanca on Saturday.

Campaign group the Pastoral Land Commission (Comissão Pastoral da Terra – CPT) reported that the victim had been involved in a dispute with representatives of timber companies which were illegally cutting trees in the area.

The CPT also said that, on the day of the killing, locals had seen a van with tinted windows entering the village.

Police said that the murder was not connected to land conflicts.

Less than a month previously, two environmental activists were murdered in Para, in what police said appeared to be a hit ordered by logging companies. A witness to the murder was killed, along with another man, also, seemingly, by hired gunmen.

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