Maxciel Pereira dos Santos, a veteran defender of Brazil’s indigenous people, has reportedly been shot dead in a remote Amazon town while riding his motorcycle.
The BBC reports Santos was shot twice in the head while riding his motorcycle down the main street of Tabatinga, a Brazilian city near the border of Colombia and Peru, according to a statement issued this past weekend by the National Indian Foundation (INA), a union representing workers at Brazil’s indigenous protection agency, FUNAI. This incident happened on the evening of Friday September 6, according to Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo.
Santos worked at FUNAI for the past 12 years, where he defended both contacted and uncontacted Brazilian tribes from miners, loggers, farmers, and anyone else seeking to seize land in the Amazon rainforest. As Reuters pointed out, Santos was reportedly “murdered execution-style” in front of his family members. Police investigators have yet to disclose potential suspects or a motive, reports Folha de São Paulo.
The killing has been described as murder, but let’s call it for what it actually is—an assassination.
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