BOGOR, INDONESIA and BANGKOK, THAILAND (13 October 2005) — The massive flooding this week in Central America has prompted the press and well-intentioned advocacy groups to blame the flooding following heavy rain from Hurricane Stan on excessive runoff caused by “extensive deforestation.”
Experts urge attention to political, economic, and social issues that have made forests the flash point for many of the world’s recent wars.
Dorothy Stang, a 74 year-old missionary and supporter of peasant land rights, was shot to death in the State of Pará in the Amazon region on February 13th. According to media reports, the killing took place a few days after she accused loggers and ranchers of death-threats against rural workers. Within two or three days of the killing, three other people in the State of Pará were murdered in the area of Anapú, a rural village approximately 850 Km from Belém, Pará’s capital city.