Chico Mendes

chico Mendes

Environmental activist assassinated for defending the Amazon. Francisco Alves Mendes Filho, better known as Chico Mendes, (Xapuri, December 15, 1944 - Xapuri, December 22, 1988) was a rubber tapper, unionist and environmental activist in Brazil. He fought against logging and cattle pasture expansion on the Amazon. He founded a union of rubber tappers in an attempt to preserve their jobs and the rainforest. He played an important role in the founding of the National Council of Rubber Tappers and the creation of Extractive Reserves proposal for collectors.


Was the first president of the Central Unica de Trabajadores - ACRE (CUT ACRE), founded in 1984. He acquired international support, and received the Global 500 prize by the U.N. in 1987; the same year also won the medal for environment from the Better World Society.

Chico Mendes was murdered outside his home on December 22nd, 1988. After his assassination more than thirty unions, religious, political, human rights and environmental organizations came together to form the Chico Mendes Committee, which required nationally and internationally that the crime is not left unanswered; He was survived by his wife and three children (Angela, Elenira, and Sandino Mendes).