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Brazil authorities rule out homicide of indigenous leader

August 17, 2018

SAO PAULO (AP) — Authorities say the leader of an Indian tribe in northeastern Brazil drowned to death, but was not murdered.

Mauro Wagner, a spokesman for the Maranhao state public security department, said Friday that forensic experts determined that Jorginho Guajajara drowned in the Zutiwa River.

He said the circumstances of the drowning are unclear.

Guajajara was known for his efforts to stop illegal logging in the Amazon rain forest and was one of the leaders of an indigenous people.

Rights group Survival International said that it was “unclear who killed Guajajara,” but that a “powerful logging mafia” has targeted the tribe because they have tried to protect their homes in the rainforest.

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