WWF calls for justice on Amazon assasinations
A statement issued by WWF Brazil reads:
"With great sadness and indignation WWF-Brazil received the news of the cowardly assassination of a married couple of extractive agriculturalists, Maria do Espírito Santo da Silva and José Cláudio da Silva, which took place on the morning of Tuesday (May 24). The couple were community leaders in an extractive reserve settlement in the south of Pará state, Praialta-Piranheira, in the municipality of Nova Ipixuna. The settlement is located in the heart of a region renowned for violent conflicts involving illegal landholders, loggers, extractivists and small farmers.
For at least one year Maria and José Cláudio had been receiving threats to kill them because of their denunciations of illegal logging in the area. According to members of their families, the couple’s home had already been broken into several times.
WWF-Brazil wishes to express its solidarity with Maria and José Claudio’s companions, friends and relatives and hopes and expects that the Federal Police, which has been specifically called in to investigate the case by President Dilma Roussef, will conduct an agile in-depth investigation of the case and identify those responsible for the killings, both the gunmen executors and those that hired them. It also hopes that these two homicides will not merely added to the list of so many others deaths that have gone unpunished and that stain with blood the history of the struggle for nature conservation in Brazil. WWF-Brazil is confident that Brazilian justice system will identify and punish those responsible with the agility and severity that the case demands."