Chico Mendes

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Chico Mendes
Chico Mendes
Chico Mendes and his wife, Ilsamar Mendes, at their home in Xapuri
Birthday/Birthplace (1944-12-15)December 15, 1944
Xapuri, Brazil
Deceased December 22, 1988(1988-12-22)
Xapuri, Brazil
Cause of death Murdered by “Darci Alves Da Silva”
Profession(s) Social activist
Wife/Husband Ilsamar Mendes
Kid(s) Angela Mendes
Elenira Mendes
Sandino Mendes

Francisco Alves Mendes Filho , also known as Chico Mendes (Xapuri, December 15, 1944 – Xapuri, December 22, 1988) was a rubber collector , Brazilian environmental activist and unionist. He fought peacefully against logging and the expansion of pastures over the Amazon until he was killed by ranchers.

Chico Mendes’s Biography

Chico Mendes was a rubber picker, a seringueiro, descendant of the northeastern emigrants settled in the Amazon for a century. He was born in 1944 in a seringal called “Puerto Rico”, in the Brazilian State of Acre. Son of Francisco Mendes. He started working at nine years old and until he was 24 he did not learn to read. He was a born fighter, and from a young age he developed an indefatigable work in defense of the seringueiros. Participated in the creation of the Single Central Workers and the Workers’ Party. Chico Mendes was the main promoter of the “Conselho Nacional dos Seringueiros”. His opposition to the deforestation that affected Acre and his defense of the peoples of the forest (Indians, rubber tappers and inhabitants of the riverbanks, among others), gave him a great international projection. From seringueiro he became a trade unionist and a trade unionist an ecologist.

 Chico Mendes founded a union of rubber pickers and truck drivers in an attempt to preserve their jobs and the rainforest at the same time. It had an important role in the founding of the National Council of Rubber Collectors and the creation of the proposal of Extractive Reserves for collectors.

He was the first president of the ACRE (CUT of ACRE), founded in 1984.

He gained international support, and was awarded the Global 500 by the UN in 1987. That same year he also won the Better World Society Medal for the Environment.

Chico Mendes was murdered in front of his house on December 22, 1988. After his murder, more than thirty union, religious, political, human rights and environmentalist entities came together to form the Chico Mendes Committee, which demanded both a national as internationally that the crime did not go unpunished.

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