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Saving The Earth Is A Very Dangerous Job

Two environmentalists are killed on average every week as land struggles intensify violence against green activists worldwide.

Russian environmentalists trying to break through a cordon of security guards
Russian environmentalists trying to break through a cordon of security guards
Rémi Barroux, Marie Jégo

In recent weeks, the Brazilian government has taken new measures to protect small farmers and environmentalists who are risking their lives in the Amazon. In May, a couple of activists were killed in an ambush in Para, a state in northern Brazil.

Unfortunately, it's not an isolated example. Celso Rodriguez, a 42-year-old Guarani Indian, also died June 12 in an ambush set by two armed men, supposedly hired by the livestock farmers occupying the nearby territory of the Paraguassu community, according to the group Survival International. “The battle for the possession of land is very violent,” says Fiona Watson, Survival International director. “Let’s not forget that the lands that belong to indigenous people are rich in resources, especially metal ores.”

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Mariateresa Fichele

Fifteen years ago, Francesco kept busy by scamming people. He was a regular visitor to the beaches of Terracina, south of Rome, where he was caught several times selling counterfeit Ray-Ban sunglasses. Then came the drugs, which fed a serious substance-induced psychosis and eventually he tested positive for HIV.

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