The case of Chico Mendes

On December 22nd, 1988 the rubber tapper, union leader and environmental activist Francisco Alves Mendes Filho, known as Chico Mendes was murdered in Xapuri, Acre. Chico Mendes played an important part in the foundation of the National Counsel of the Seringueiros and the design and proposal of the extraction reserves. He organized many of the above described empates and achieved international support for the struggle of the seringueiros. He was rewarded by the UNO in 1987 with the "Global 500" award and received another one from the Better World Society. After the death of Chico Mendes more than 30 union, church, human rights, political and environmental organizations banded together and formed the Chico Mendes Committee. They requested measures to be taken and put pressure on the authorities through national and international public relations, so that the crime would be punished. In 1990 the land owners Darly and Darcy Alves da Silva were found guilty of the crime and convicted to 19 years of prison. In 1993 they escaped from prison but were captured again in 1996. The case of Chico Mendes drew for the first time international attention to the problems of the seringueiros. Through his murder, Chico Mendes became one more time representative of the many other inhabitants of the rain forest, who were murdered, deprived of their rights or threatened...

For more information about Chico Mendes visit www.chicomendes.org (including video e fotos)

 


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