ted fellows

The death of Zé Cláudio

Ze Claudio with a giant chestnut tree (illegal to cut) on his land that he used to call ˜Her Majesty." Photo: Felipe Milanez.

Yesterday, Juliana Machado Ferreira shared this awful news on the TED Fellows blog:

On feb 8th 2011 I wrote a post at this blog about Zé Cláudio, a Brazil nut collector in Pará, Brazil, who was fighting the illegal timber industry. The people who Zé Cláudio was denouncing and fighting against are big time criminals, the same ones who murdered Sister Dorothy Stang and are still free, destroying our biodiversity and getting richer. And these criminals made it clear that Zé Cláudio wasn’t going to last much longer.

I wrote as a cry for help, I wanted to bring Zé Cláudio’s situation to light. I wanted the world to see his fight because he was fighting for us all.
Well, in the morning of tuesday, May 24th 2011, Zé Cláudio and his wife were murdered in their home in Nova Ipixuna, Pará. And I know we all have their blood on our hands. We let it happen.

Now I urge the world to not let their death be in vain. It is time we stop turning our heads to what is happening in the Brazilian Amazonia because of diplomacy. And it is time we stop thinking we have nothing to do with this situation. We have the duty of knowing where the wood products we buy are coming from. Are you giving money and profits to the same people who murdered Zé Cláudio, his wife, Sister Dorothy and are continuously raping our biodiversity? It is your money that makes all this profitable. It is your responsibility to be aware of what you are buying.

UPDATE: Read this personal story from Barbara Soalheiro, a journalist and curator of TEDxAmazonia >>

UPDATE: Read TEDxAmazonia’s commemoration of Zé Cláudio >>

UPDATE: A third rainforest activist has been killed. Read the Huffington Post’s report. Juliana is compiling reports and interviews now … watch for news.

Watch Zé Cláudio’s talk from TEDxAmazonia:

  • And read more in Xeni Jardin’s post at Boingboing.net >>