BRASILIA – A group of Greenpeace activists demonstrated Tuesday in Brasilia to commemorate the people murdered in the Amazon region and to demand an end to impunity for the perpetrators of those crimes that are bound to reach a record number this year, according to the environmentalist organization.
Under slogans like “Save Amazonia” and “Enough illegal timber,” the demonstrators gathered in front of Congress to display an enormous green map of Brazil’s Amazon region stuck with crosses bearing the names of people killed in the area.
“We take our stand in front of Congress to show politicians the damage caused by their failure to take action and fight the illegal felling of our forests. The destruction of the Amazon region is responsible for the violence in the woodlands. We want peace in the jungle,” Greenpeace said in a statement.
The organization recalled what is remembered as the “Colniza massacre,” which occurred last April when “four men armed with knives, revolvers and shotguns” roamed the wilderness in Mato Grosso state “bent on killing and terrorizing the local population.”
The murderers, known as “The Hoodies,” roamed some 10 kilometers (6 miles) executing nine people and torturing others, Greenpeace said.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, the attack was motivated by the “greed” of timber thieves stealing resources of great value in a region known for highly prized tree species used to make high-end furniture.
Authorities point to Valdelir Joao de Souza, known as the “Polish Woodworker” and the owner of wood companies, as the mastermind behind these crimes.
Souza is in hiding, but his companies are currently operating in a completely normal way, processing wood that is then sold on the domestic and international markets, according to a Greenpeace report.