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Peru Prosecutor Charges 5 Men In Activists’ Murders

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Five men of the timber industry are facing murder charges in the death of four native activists who died in 2014 after battling illegal logging of the Amazon jungle.  

Peru’s Ucayali region prosecutor Otoniel Jara charged two timber executives and three loggers with the activists’ shootings. 

According to environmentalists, the government’s move is unique, as years of illegal logging with suspected attacks on activists going on without much response from the authorities. 

Rainforest Foundation US is a group that helped with funding to ensure the alleged killers were brought to justice. Tom Bewick, with the group, said it’s their hope the victims’ legacy will ensure justice.  He said he also hopes it presents an example for other environmentalists around the world. 

The four men, who were discovered dead on Sept. 1, 2014, were Edwin Chota, Leoncio Quinticima, Jorge Rios Perez and Francisco Pinedo. They were found with shotgun blasts in the region of Upper Tamaya-Saweto Ashaninka near the Brazil/Peru border.

The activists were defending the forests and had traveled by canoe for three days to get to Pucallpa, the capital city, to make their complaints and encourage the forestry officials to step in. They had asked prosecutors to step in with the illegal logging, giving them pictures and sketches of the destruction they had discovered. 

If convicted, each of the suspects – Hugo Soria and Jose Estrada (who ordered the killing) and Josimar Atachi, Eurico Mapes and Segundo Atachi (who allegedly carried it out) could spend up to 35 years in jail. 

Throughout the five-year investigation, all five men have denied the charges. To this day, they are still living free and thought to be in the remote Peru jungles. 

Jara said he feels the prosecutors gave him the case after abandoning it themselves. According to him, the three loggers were in the region where the bodies had been discovered, and the two businessmen lost money when the activists confronted them about the illegal logging. 

Authorities have found Quinticima and Chota’s bodies, but Pinedo and Rios’ bodies are still missing. 

According to Global Witness, there have been more than 160 environmental activists killed since 2018, with half of them killed in the countries of Guatemala, Colombia, Chile and Brazil.

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Activists

Hundreds Join Actress/Activist For Climate Change Protest

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Actress/celebrity activist Jane Fonda is in Washington, D.C. for her fifth protest to fight climate change, and hundreds joined with her.

Standing in front of the U.S. Capitol, Fonda said it was urgent governments take up the climate change crisis cause and the need for more people to take part in the cause. She said it shouldn’t be left up to the younger generation to fight for their future.

Fonda, 81, has led “Fire Drill Fridays” protests for over a month with four arrests so far for her efforts. Her work on climate change falls in line with the many youth protestors who have partaken in school strikes that began with Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate change advocate. 

The latest protest centered on the war and military and how it contributes to the climate crisis. The U.S. military is one of the largest carbon emitters. 

Fonda has been a long-time political activist, going back to the Vietnam War era. She was given the nickname “Hanoi Jane” during the 1970s after being pictured sitting on top of a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun while visiting Hanoi. 

Many of the activists joining her were urging for Donald Trump’s impeachment. 

Fonda’s crowd of protestors came across a separate group marching for support of undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children (called Dreamers). The groups sang one another’s chants.  

The actress’ protestors brought teenagers and seniors together. Two college students, first-years, first learned of Fonda after watching her Netflix show “Grace and Frankie” and felt moved by her climate message. 

TJ Boland, one of the students, said seeing teenagers and the older generation working together to change the climate’s situation is moving. 

Some protestors at the march were there for something else. Some were there to protests the government’s exploitation of people of color and poor to benefit corporations and the wealthy at the environment’s expense. 

Annie Landsman and Julie Hefferman, friends in their 60s, came to the capital from New York City to join in the on the protest. 

Landsman said she was angry over the fact Trump was elected because he’s someone who lacks the qualities she felt a president should have. She called him a misogynist and racist and was everything she hated in a person. 

89-year-old Ruth Zalph came from North Carolina to protest against militarism and climate change. She said money that was spent on a military-industrial complex could be spent on battling rising temperatures and ending poverty.

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12-Year-Old Activist To Be Featured In Marvel Studio Project

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Genesis Butler is a 12-year-old vegan activist who is being featured in the upcoming documentary series Marvel Studio has put together – “Marvel Hero Project.” 

The unscripted series showcases the positive impact young real-life heroes make in their communities around the country. The youth leaders featured on Marvel Hero Project will be the star of a comic book of their own. 

Butler said she was in shock to learn one of the biggest franchises wanted her to talk about veganism. She said it’s a real honor to be included in the Marvel Universe. Butler said the show is a great chance to talk about veganism and its benefits. She said she’s happy to share why vegans have a real compassion for animals, the planet and others. 

Butler said she filmed the activism lobbying for animals at New Life Animal Sanctuary and the State Capitol in California. She’ll also be getting her own Marvel comic.

A Look At Genesis Butler

Butler was six years old when she went vegan after learning where milk came from. Butler became a real-life animal superhero. She’s known for the 2017 TEDx talk – the youngest person to deliver one.

Butler has given talks throughout the U.S. and Canada. In February, she took part in the Million Dollar Vegan campaign, where she insisted Pope Francis try the vegan lifestyle during Lent in exchange for a $1 million donation to any charity he wanted. 

Butler has been awarded multiple times for her activism – PETA’s Youth Activist of the Year, Animal Hero Kids’ Sir Paul McCartney’s Young Veg Advocate award and many others. She has also appeared in “The Invisible Vegan” – a 2019 documentary that Kenny and Jasmine Leyva put together. 

The “Marvel Hero Project” will premiere Nov. 12 on the Disney+ platform.

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Environmentalists/Others Protesting Border Wall In Arizona

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Environmentalists, along with other activists from around the U.S., are participating in peaceful, non-confrontational protests against the border wall, which is happening at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument located in southwestern Arizona. 

The Center for Biological Diversity, which is a national nonprofit conservation organization, and other nonprofits from the area have organized the event to highlight the damage the border wall will do to the migration of wildlife, increase the risk to endangered species and wildness lands and damage archaeological sites. 

Laiken Jordahl is a borderlands campaigner from the Center for Biological Diversity. He said the wall President Donald Trump is pushing for will run through a very biologically diverse area of Arizona. 

It’s a 500-mile federal natural reserve in the Sonoran desert, which is home to 200-year-old saguaro cacti that environmentalists are already being destroyed for the 30-foot fall border wall panels that have begun being erected. 

Arizona National Parks Conversation Association Program Manager Kevin Dahl said he’s witnessed the destruction the bulldozers are doing to Organ Pipe National Monument for the president’s expensive wall. He said it’s not just about the destruction of the national park but the wildlife being unable to reach their migration routes or water supplies. 

The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument will have 33 miles of new border going through it, and according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, they are working to save as many of these cacti that they can. 

The CBP wrote on Facebook that 110 plants – 76 saguaros, 16 hedgehogs, 10 ocotillo, seven-barrel, and one senita cacti were relocated and planted where the wall would not be., 

However, Jordahl said it wasn’t enough transplanting the cacti. He said there are millions of gallons of water being drained to construct the wall, which is endangering the lives of the dessert to native species – Quitobaquito pupfish and Sonoyta mud turtle.

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