João Chupel Primo, an environmental rights defender, has been assassinated in Pará, Northern Brazil, after denouncing criminal activities.
According to the police, Primo had given them details about the activities of loggers that destroy the forests and illegally appropriate land in the region of Itaituba. He had passed the same information to federal police in Santarem and the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), who is responsible for the management of protected areas that are being invaded by loggers.
The victim was in a garage when two men came to ask about the repair of a vehicle. One of the men pulled a gun and fired a shot in the head of Primo, who died soon after.
Following his death, prosecutors in Pará have asked federal police to ensure the protection of two other witnesses who also reported deforestation in the area.
Gilson Rego, from the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) of Santarem, said last September they were investigating the situation reported by João Primo. However, the investigation was closed after armed clashes.
Itaituba region has had a history of conflict between ranchers, illegal loggers, and eco-activists.
João Primo, who was the director of a religious group in Pará, is the eighth person to have been killed since May in Pará and Rondonia states amid growing frictions over land in the Amazon region.