A 5,800-year-old tree has been cut down by loggers illegally encroaching into the Matsés Indigenous Reserve, an area where logging is illegal but potentially holds huge reserves of oil and gas below ground.
The logging firms claim it was an accident and they didn’t realise either where they were or how old the tree was. The giant Samauma tree is over 5,800 years old and 40 meters high.
The Matsés tribe called it “The Mother Tree”, so long has it been a fixture in the lives of them and their ancestors. No punishment has been given to the logging company involved, suggesting the local authorities may not be on nature’s side or that of the native people.
Within 20 years the speed at which the rainforest is being cut down in the Amazon has more than tripled, at 100 acres destroyed every minute, with most of the lost forest becoming pasture for cattle or to grow soy.
Protecting nature’s always pretty down the list in terms of priorities when war and famine are rife around the world, but this is still probably one of the ugliest man-made issues we’re committing on earth right now, and it’s one that could be solved fairly easily with the right controls and guidance.
BOPE, Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais, (lit: Special Police Operations Battalion) is a special forces unit of the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Its tactics were made well-known in cinemas worldwide with the smash-hit Tropa de Elite and its sequel.
And BOPE has a crazy Twitter feed featuring pictures of all of the guns, drugs and money it’s confiscated from the favelas.
The official BOPE badge is a skull with a dagger stabbed through it and two guns behind its head.
The current police leader, Commissioner Sa, said today it’s getting a handle on crime, even though murders are rising in Rio de Janeiro.
He said: “A logo do bope pode parecer com o que usam os grupos de extermínio, mas isso é coincidencia.” (“The BOPE logo might look similar to one used by a death squad, but this is a coincidence.”)
He continued: “The BOPE is a special, tactical squad, like a SWAT team, prepared for the most dangerous situations. The image is meant to signify they may have to face the possibility of their own death and overcome that, not to celebrate killing.”
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