Two members of the Forest Guardians, a group of 120 volunteers from the Guajajara tribe, were ambushed on November 1 by five gunmen while on a hunting trip inside their protected reserve. One of the men was killed instantly by a shotgun blast at close range. The other, wounded in the arm and back, fled for miles through forest and underbrush and is now in hiding.
The Forest Guardians—three of whom were killed in a single month in 2016—have been locked in an intensifying battle with illegal loggers invading their homeland, Arariboia Indigenous Territory, in the eastern Amazonian state of Maranhão. While the other deaths occurred outside the bounds of the territory, this month’s assault marked the first time Guardians have