"Pedro Alcantara De Souza, Top Amazon Activist, Shot Dead In Brazil"

"BELEM, Brazil — A top activist for land reform in Brazil's Amazon has been murdered, police said Thursday.

The killing came hours after a delay in the trial of a man accused of masterminding the slaying of another rain forest activist, American nun Dorothy Stang, who was shot and killed in 2005 in notoriously violent Para state.

Watchdog groups say conflicts between powerful ranchers and poor farmers over land rights have led to 1,200 murders across Brazil in the last 20 years.

In only one of those killings – Stang's – is the alleged mastermind now behind bars. About 80 of the gunmen are in jail."

Bradley Brooks reports for the Associated Press April 1, 2010.

Friday, April 2, 2010