Amazon Guardian killed, another shot, as loggers attack in Brazil

Let's never forget Paulo Paulino Guajajara. Last week, he was shot in the neck and killed for defending the forest he loved. A devoted member of the Amazon Guardians, Paulo was a humble man who dedicated his life to protecting the Amazon rainforest and his relatives and uncontacted neighbors, the Awá. I became friends with Paulo through my work with the Amazon Guardians, whom Survival has supported for many years.

When Paulo and a fellow Guardian were ambushed by loggers, they weren’t even out on patrol. His friend, Tainaky Tenetehar, was shot multiple times, but miraculously escaped with his life.

Tragically, Paulo was not so lucky. He died that day in the forest.

 In this photo, Paulo is wearing a hat I gave him during one of my trips to the Amazon, which I brought to keep me warm during the cold nights. Paulo cut eye-holes in it and used it to cover his face when the Guardians passed through dangerous areas – he didn’t want to be recognized by loggers. He said this hat could save his life, and it was worth the discomfort. 

Here at Survival, we are outraged at this news. But no one is more outraged and heartbroken than the family and friends Paulo leaves behind. 

No one should have to risk their life to defend their forest. But attacks like this have been rising dramatically under President Bolsonaro. His racist, anti-indigenous policies have emboldened violent land grabbers intent on stealing indigenous land.

Paulo deserves justice, and we won't let his death be in vain.

Please, join the fight:

Paulo's murder is truly a tragic loss for the Guardians, the Awá, the Amazon, and all of us. But the Guardians won't give up, and nor will their allies. Thank you for standing with us. 


Sarah Shenker
Senior Researcher

P.S. A powerful video shows why the Amazon Guardians' work is so vital, and features Paulo, who was killed in the recent attack. Please share it with your friends and family. 

By Sarah Shenker at Survival International
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