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Dying to defend the planet: why Latin America
is the deadliest place for environmentalists
February 11, 2017
Defending nature is a dangerous occupation, especially in Latin America. According to a recent report by Global Witness, an NGO, 185 environmental activists were murdered worldwide in 2015, an increase of 59% from the year before. More than half the killings were in Latin America. In Brazil 50 green campaigners died in 2015. Honduras is especially dangerous: 123 activists have died there since 2010, the highest number of any country relative to its population. Berta Cáceres, an indigenous leader who was a prominent campaigner against dams and plantations, was murdered there.
Why is Latin America so deadly? One reason is its abundant natural resources, which attract enterprises of all sorts, from multinationals to mafias. When prices are low, as they are now, the most rapacious do not go away; to maintain their profits they become more aggressive, says David Kaimowitz of the Ford Foundation, which gives money to good causes. New technologies open up new battlefronts. Soya beans bred to grow in tropical conditions have encouraged farmers to displace cattle ranchers, who in turn have advanced into the rainforest. Small prospectors can now extract gold from soil rather than just hunting around. That opens up new areas for exploitation, such as San Rafael de Flores in south-eastern Guatemala, where activists have been murdered.
The odds of finding the criminals are greater if the victim is foreign. Dorothy Stang, an American nun who fought to protect the Amazon rainforest, was killed in Brazil 12 years ago. Both the gunman and a rancher who had hired him eventually went to jail. But that is an exception.
(https://www.economist.com/the-americas/2017/02/11/ why-latin-america-is-the-deadliest-place-for-environmentalists. Adaptado)
No trecho do segundo parágrafo – That opens up new areas for exploitation, such as San Rafael de Flores in southeastern Guatemala – a expressão em destaque introduz
- A uma explicação.
- B uma decorrência.
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- D um motivo.
- E um exemplo.