It's not easy being green, and in Brazil it can be deadly.
Another week, another environmentalist is murdered. Why should you care? Well, for starters, someone was murdered. Murdered for standing up and protecting something that the entire world needs. Think about it for a second, one out of every four breaths you take comes from this ecosystem. Yes, the Amazon generates 25% (+/-) of the world's oxygen. It also contains half the world land-based biodiversity and plays an incredibly important role in regulating the Earth’s climate, as well as regional rain cycles. Parts of Sao Paulo are already suffering droughts and water shortages (and all indications are it will get worse) because of deforestation in the Amazon (and piss-poor state management, of course). But who knows which city or nation may feel the dramatic effects of a forest under siege, next.
As to the article's question about why so many environmentalists are killed in Brazil, well it is a violent nation (over 50,000 murders are year – that we know about), with incompetent and corrupt governance and questionable police services (16% of all homicides in Rio de Janeiro, for example, are carried out by police according to Amnesty International). The honest cops (and there are many) are under-funded, often poorly trained and usually barely equipped to deal with a region continental in size and with such a propensity for violence and mob rule. Since everything in Brazil is currently worsening (sadly), from the economy to crime to politics etc…I do not see it getting any easier for environmentalists or any better for the Amazon.
And that is not good news for anyone on the Earth.