As florestas assassinas

NOVA IORQUE – Edwin Chota foi morto na floresta pela qual ele lutou para proteger. O activista ambiental peruano pediu ajuda ao seu governo depois de receber ameaças de morte de lenhadores ilegais que atormentavam a região em torno de sua aldeia, nas profundezas da floresta amazónica. E ainda assim, em Setembro, ele e três outros membros proeminentes da comunidade peruana Ashéninka caíram numa emboscada e foram assassinados num trilho, no interior da selva, enquanto viajavam para se encontrarem com colegas activistas do vizinho Brasil. A viúva de Chota viajou durante seis dias no rio para a capital regional, para comunicar as suas mortes.

A morte de Chota é uma chamada de atenção para o preço que os activistas locais, em algumas das áreas mais remotas do mundo, estão a pagar à medida que lutam para defenderem as suas comunidades da exploração e da industrialização. A procura mundial por recursos naturais está a crescer e os povos indígenas estão a receber pouca protecção contra aqueles que destroem as suas terras, florestas e rios. Em vez disso, eles estão a ser assassinados com impunidade a um ritmo alarmante, às vezes com a cumplicidade das autoridades governamentais.

Peru é um excelente exemplo. De acordo com um relatório recentemente comunicado pelo grupo activista Global Witness, Peru ocupa a quarta posição mundial em assassinatos de activistas ambientais (depois de Brasil, Honduras e Filipinas), com 58 activistas mortos no país entre 2002 e 2013. Mais de metade do país ainda é coberto por floresta tropical, mas essas florestas estão a ser cortadas a um ritmo acelerado para satisfazer a voraz procura internacional de madeira e produtos relacionados.

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