José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva, an outspoken opponent of illegal burning and logging in the Amazon rainforest, has been shot dead in an ambush near their his home in Nova Ipixuna, in Pará state, about 37 miles from Marabá, Brazil. His wife was also killed in the attack.
Da Silva had received frequent death threats from rainforest loggers. He confessed in a public conference in November that he feared for his life. A 2008 report compiled by Brazilian human rights activists also listed Da Silva as one of those “considered at risk” for assassination. But the couple had allegedly not asked for any police protection. Authorities are now investigating whether the killing was an assassination.