Francisco Alves Mendes Filho, better known as Chico Mendes, was a Brazilian rubber tapper, trade union leader and environmentalist. He fought to preserve the Amazon rain forest, and advocated for the human rights of Brazilian peasants and indigenous peoples. He was assassinated by a rancher on December 22, 1988.
I find Rich Lowry’s column “Foolish hysteria about Amazon fires” of Sept 5 to be shallow and offensive. The steady deforestation of the Amazon rain forest — home to indigenous peoples and millions of wildlife —has been an ongoing atrocity over the last 31 years, since the assassination of Mendes in 1988.
It is heartbreaking to see the loss of habitat for such a diversity of species and to wonder how the destruction will ultimately impact climate change on a global scale.
One rarely hears about what happens to the people and animals who live in the forest — do they burn up with the trees? And why isn’t this being reported on?. Moreover, Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, is said to be unraveling the ministry responsible for protecting the environment, just as our own president labeled climate change “a hoax” and is reversing environmental protections.
retired information specialist