David Hill: This week's trial of men accused of killing two activists in 2011 highlights the continuing problems faced in the Amazon (25 years after Chico Mendes, killings in the Amazon are endemic | David Hill http://t.co/3Pqt3BEHYO...
These high-profile murders are just the tip of the iceberg. In Pará alone, 231 people were killed and 809 received death threats between 1996 and 2010, according to NGO Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), while in 2011 78 people received death threats and 12 people were killed.
"Violence is the instrument of local capitalism," says Milanez. "They're proud to kill and they're seen by some as local heroes defending their property with their blood. It's insane, but it's what happening there."
Trials like that starting on Wednesday are extremely rare. According to the CPT, out of 918 people killed across Brazil's Amazon between 1985 and April 2011, trials were held in only 27 cases.