SAO PAOLO (AP) — A jury has acquitted a man who prosecutors accused of masterminding the killing of two Amazon activists in northern Brazil.
Edmundo Rodrigues Costa is the national coordinator of the Catholic Land Pastoral watchdog group. He says the jury acquitted Jose Rodrigues Moreira on Thursday due to insufficient evidence. He said prosecutors will appeal.
But the panel found Lindonjonson Silva Rocha and Alberto Lopes do Nascimento guilty of carrying out the killings in May 2011. Rocha was sentenced to 42 years and eight months and Nascimento got 45 years. Costa said their attorneys will appeal as well.
Jose Claudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife, Maria, were gunned down near a reserve in the jungle state of Para, where they taught farmers how to use land in a sustainable manner.