Amazonia under Bolsonaro's government: new risks for forests and forest defenders

José Batista Afonso is a land rights lawyer who works for CPT (Pastoral Land Commission), in Marabá, South-East Para state, in the Brazilian Amazon. Mr Afonso is a respected Human Rights Defender, having worked on high profile cases of human rights abuses and killings linked to land rights conflicts. These include: the Pau D’Arco massacre in 2017 where 9 landless people were killed by police, the killings of the environmentalists Maria do Espirito Santo e Jose Claudio Ribeiro da Silva in 2011, and many rural trade union leaders killed by large-scale land owners. In 2018, the EU Embassy in Brasilia presented its first ever human rights prize to CPT Marabá. As part of his partnership with CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development), Mr Afonso will be in Europe, speaking on his work on human rights violations and rural violence in Brazil. His talk will address the new waves of threats to the Brazilian Amazon, its forests and forest defenders as a a results of new policies and politics under Bolsonaro’s government.