Erasmo Theófilo: Amazon defender in danger

Erasmo Theófilo, a family farmer and defender of the riverine community and family farmers of Anapu, Brazil, has survived attempts on his life and received multiple threats from land grabbers. We can't let Erasmo become a R.I.P. shirt.

Liberte o Futuro (Free the Future)
26 November 2020

Being able to talk about genocide and to fight for human rights and the little democracy we still have without fear! This was one of the subjects discussed at the Virtual Demonstration for Democracy (Manifão da Democracia) on September 7th.

Brazil is the world’s third most deadly country for environmental defenders and 90% of murders occur in the Amazon. Can you picture fighting for what you believe, for the laws, for our forest and receiving death threats for it?

This is everyday life for Erasmo Theófilo, a family farmer and activist who defends the riverine community and family farmers of Anapu, in the state of Pará. He has survived attempts on his life and received multiple threats from land grabbers in the region, as seen in the video.

We will not let him be a statistic. We will not allow anyone to perpetuate this battle cycle that has reached international proportions since the murder of missionary Dorothy Stang. We will fight the people who feel they have the power to destroy our forest, appropriate land, promote violence and get away with it. Let's fight for Brazil, for democracy, for life – ours and Erasmo’s! Erasmo can't become a R.I.P. shirt (#NãoPodeVirarCamiseta).




This video is a production of Free the Future.

Rainforest defenders: How to fight the climate crisis from the ground up

Too often the people of the Amazon are seen as victims, but there are young local activists who defend their lands and communities – and are succeeding. openDemocracy has just won a major award for telling their stories in striking, beautiful photography and video.

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Hear from:

Pablo Albarenga Sony World Photographer of the Year, 2020

Francesc Badia i Dalmases Director, democraciaAbierta – openDemocracy's Latin America project

Nora Moraga-Lewy Rainforest Journalism Fund manager, Pulitzer Center

Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief, openDemocracy

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