Ambrósio Vilhalva was a Guarani leader who spent decades campaigning against the planting of sugar cane on his tribe’s former lands. Vilhalva starred in the award-winning film Birdwatchers and traveled the world to speak about the Brazilian government’s failure to protect native Guarani land. In December 2013, after months of death threats, Vilhalva was found dead in his hut from multiple stab wounds.
Marinalva Manoel was also a leading figure in the Guarani Indian repatriation movement. In November 2014, she was found dead on the side of a highway after being raped and stabbed to death.
Edwin Chota was an activist leader of Peru’s Ashaninka people who for years fought against illegal logging in the Amazon, going so far as to confront armed loggers with a machete in his hand. In September 2014, Chota and three other Ashinanka men were ambushed somewhere on the Brazilian-Peruvian border and gunned down with shotguns.