Chico Mendes was a Brazilian rubber tapper, unionist and environmental activist. He fought against the burning and logging of the Amazon Rainforest to clear land for cattle ranching, and “founded a national union of rubber tappers in an attempt to preserve their profession and the rainforest that it relied upon.” In 1988 he was murdered by ranchers opposed to his activism. Mendes was quoted as saying: “At first I thought I was fighting to save rubber trees, then I thought I was fighting to save the Amazon rainforest. Now I realise I am fighting for humanity.”
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