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Two indigenous men shot dead in Brazil, near where forest guardian was killed weeks earlier

Illegal loggers kill Amazon ‘guardian’
(From Nov. 4, 2019) Warning: This video contains disturbing images. Discretion advised. Illegal loggers kill Amazon 'guardian'

Two indigenous men, members of the Guajajara tribe in northeastern Brazil, were shot dead on Saturday, and two others were wounded, not far from where a prominent tribesman who defended the Amazon rainforest was also killed last month, authorities said.

READ MORE: Amazon rainforest deforestation in Brazil at highest level in more than a decade

Indigenous tribes in Brazil are facing escalating violence during the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro, who has promised to reduce tribal rights and encouraged the commercial exploitation of their protected lands. Tribes have faced violence especially from illegal loggers and miners.

Magno Guajajara, a spokesman for the tribe, said they did not know why the two men had been shot, whom he identified as Firmino Guajajara and Raimundo Guajajara. The men were on a highway, coming back from a meeting, when the shots were fired from a passing car, he said.

Authorities in Brazil record man believed to be last surviving member of isolated indigenous tribe
Authorities in Brazil record man believed to be last surviving member of isolated indigenous tribe

“They were shooting at everyone,” he said by telephone.

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Authorities said they were investigating but did not say if anyone had been detained.

Sonia Guajajara, head of Brazil’s largest indigenous umbrella organization APIB, said the murders reflected an escalation of violence against tribes people that she said was incited by Bolsonaro.

READ MORE: Lobo, guardian of the Amazon rainforest, killed by illegal loggers in Brazil

“We are adrift, the state has ceased to protect us,” She said in a statement. “The climate of tension, insecurity and persecution against indigenous people in Brazil only increases.”

The incident happened in the Cana Brava indigenous reservation, which spans 137,000 hectares (338,530 acres)in the state of Maranhao and has 4,500 inhabitants, according to government records.

Paulo Paulino Guajajara, the “forest guardian” killed last month, was shot in a confrontation with illegal loggers on a nearby reservation.

Amazon fires scorch Bolsonaro’s reputation abroad, but not in Brazil
Amazon fires scorch Bolsonaro’s reputation abroad, but not in Brazil