Outrage after Amazon Indigenous Activist Killed

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Paulo Paulino Guajajara, the leader in a group seeking to protect the Arariboia indigenous reserve from incursions, died after she was shot in the face during the ambush.

Since taking office in January, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of harming the Amazon and indigenous tribes in order to benefit his supporters in the logging, mining and farming industries.

Democracy Now! speaks with João Coimbra Sousa, a field coordinator and legal adviser for Amazon Watch, in São Luís in the northeastern state of Maranhão.

"Violence and death threats against the guardians have been happening for years", Sarah Shenker, a researcher with Survival International who knew Paulo Paulino, told AFP.

"Paulino and Laercio are the most recent victims of a state that refuses to comply with what the constitution determines", Greenpeace stated in an announcement. Indigenous groups in Brazil say they've become more vulnerable to logging gangs.

"It is time to stop this institutionalized genocide". Unlawful loggers reportedly shotted him, whereas he was on a hunt in Maranhao, a state in northern Brazil that spans a part of the Amazon rainforest. Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) reported a record 72,843 fires this year, an 80 percent increase from last year.

Bolsonaro has vehemently defended his policies.

"This is the reality of life for many of Brazil's indigenous people and it has got much worse under President Bolsonaro".

"We no longer want to be a statistic, we want action from the public power, the entities that created to protect us, the people who are paying with their lives for doing the work that is the responsibility of the state".

Shenker, who was in the region in April, said they would hold Moro to his promise.

In a video interview released by Survival Global closing Three hundred and sixty five days, Laercio said: 'They must execute us all'. "That they do not, their absence there, is what pushes the guardians to assume this defense, a very hard and risky job", Shenker told AFP.

The Arariboia territory is home to about 5,000 indigenous of us - the Guajajara and the Awa.

"Maranhao state understood how the urgency of the situation in view of the federal government's failure to act, nearly in connivance with the attackers by encouraging the invasion of reservations", said national indigenous leader Sonia Guajajara.

Brazil's Justice Minister says federal police are investigating the death and the circumstances regarding the attack.

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