Illegal Loggers Murder Amazon Forest Guardian
Paulo Paulino Guajajara, in his 20s, was a member of the Guajajara group Guardians of the Forest, which was formed in 2012 to protect the Araribóia reservation in Brazil's Maranhão state. In an interview with Reuters in September, he said that his work had become more dangerous.
"I'm scared at times, but we have to lift up our heads and act. We are here fighting," he said.
Paulo Paulino Guajajara was a part of Guardians of the Forest - a group set up buy his Guajajara tribe to protect the Amazon rainforest. On Saturday, he was shot dead by illegal loggers https://t.co/SOoKlNk8ec pic.twitter.com/8yvf3UFxjk— Reuters (@Reuters) November 3, 2019
Another guardian, Laércio Guajajara, was also shot and taken to the hospital, The Guardian reported. One of the loggers is also missing.
Sérgio Moro, justice minister for the administration of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, said that federal police would investigate the murder.
"We will spare no effort to bring those responsible for this serious crime to justice," he tweeted, as The Guardian reported.
But indigenous rights groups blamed the Bolsonaro government for the killing, since the president has promised to open indigenous reserves to extractive industries.
"The increase in violence in indigenous territories is a direct result of his hateful speeches and steps taken against our people," the Association of Brazil's Indigenous Peoples (APIB) said in a statement reported by Reuters.
A report from Brazil's Indigenous Missionary Council found that there were 160 land invasions of indigenous territories during the first nine months of Bolsonaro's presidency, two times the number from the year before, according to Amazon Watch.
"While it is the constitutional duty of the Brazilian government to protect indigenous territories and ensure the safety of their peoples, what we are witnessing today is genocidal violence abetted by the criminal Bolsonaro regime," Amazon Watch program director Christian Poirier said. "Bolsonaro has launched an open attack upon indigenous rights and lands, abandoning native peoples to defend their territories against invasions, illegal logging, mining, and land grabbing. This regime has indigenous blood on its hands."
"The Brazilian gov't must immediately & thoroughly investigate this crime & its perpetrators in the local logging mafia. This attack & the continuing assault on indigenous peoples & their territories in Brazil demand urgent & decisive action" - @cpeartreehttps://t.co/J0RBEasIYD— AMAZON WATCH (@AmazonWatch) November 3, 2019
The killing comes as seven indigenous leaders are touring Europe to raise awareness about human rights abuses under Bolsonaro as part of a campaign called "Indigenous Blood: Not A Single Drop More."
"It's time to say enough of this institutionalized genocide," Sônia Guajajara, APIB leader and one of the participants in the tour, said in a tweet reported by Reuters.
The Araribóia reserve stretches 1,595 square miles and is home to around 5,300 indigenous Brazilians, both from the Guajajara tribe and the entirely isolated Awá, according to The Guardian. It was a site of violence even before Bolsonaro took office, as loggers targeted the area that holds most of the rainforest left in Maranhão state. Roberto Cabral, a former enforcement operations coordinator with Brazil's environmental agency Ibama, was shot there in 2015.
Forest guardian leader Olímpio Guajajara released a video in June calling for help from the Brazilian government because gunmen were being paid to kill indigenous people and shooting at indigenous homes.
"We don't want war, we want to resist," he said, as The Guardian reported. "We want the Brazilian authorities to help protect the lives of the Guardians that are threatened."
Sarah Shenker, senior research and advocacy officer at Survival International, told The Guardian that Paulino's death was "a crime foretold."
Angry and despairing at Paulino's murder? Want to protest Brazil's genocide and support the indigenous Guardians of the Amazon?— Survival International (@Survival) November 2, 2019
1. Follow @Survival and retweet widely 📢
2. Email the authorities✍️ https://t.co/0Y6JxvuQCo
3. Become an activist! ✊ https://t.co/CbBFKhnAeV pic.twitter.com/jHxLjGBrnu
Paulino is survived by one son, according to Reuters.
"We are protecting our land and the life on it, the animals, the birds, even the Awá who are here too," Paulino told Reuters in September. "There is so much destruction of Nature happening, good trees with wood as hard as steel being cut down and taken away. We have to preserve this life for our children's future."
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At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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