(TELESUR) – Brazilian police arrested on Thursday two owners of the Ouro Verde farm for burning 5,000 hectares of forest within the Triunfo do Xingu Environmental Protection Area, at the state of Para in the southern part of the Amazon region. Authorities also found workers who remained trapped in their farm in conditions similar to slavery.
Suspects are expected to respond to charges of environmental damage, pollution, fire and criminal association. According to investigations carried out so far, both landowners paid about 50 people to demolish 20,000 more hectares of forest, which are next to their property.
While this police action alleviates the environmental crisis in the Amazon, the arrest of two landowners is rather an isolated case within a system which does not usually detect or capture those responsible for thousands of fires.
The Amazon Research Institute of the Amazon (Ipam) revealed that most of the 27,000 fire outbreaks recorded in August are related to actions aimed at eliminating forests.
In July, intentional acts of deforestation affected 2,254.8 square kilometers of forest, a figure which represents an increase of 278 percent over the same month of the previous year.