The protests began after environment officials seized about 400 cubic meters of illegally cut wood in the town of Paragominas, the environmental agency Ibama said. The protestors stole the trucks with the confiscated logs, tried to invade a hotel where the government agents were staying and opened fire on a garage with vehicles belonging to environment agency employees.
Brazil has vowed not to stop its efforts to enforce rules aimed at preventing the illegal logging, environment minister, Carlos Minc, said. Minc also added that he had asked the Justice Ministry to send troops from Brazil’s National Security Force increase the safety in the town – located in one of the county’s most violent areas.
Despite increasing federal efforts to stop illegal logging, official statistics expected to be released by the end of the year are anticipated to demonstrate that the Amazon deforestation rate has risen. Environmentalists blame farmers and cattle ranchers for purchasing cheap rain forest land after it has been cleared by loggers.
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