Chico Mendes: The Brazilian environmental activist killed for trying to save the Amazon

In December 1988, the Brazilian environmental activist, Chico Mendes, was shot dead by cattle ranchers angered by his efforts to stop them exploiting land in the Amazon jungle.

The 44-year-old Mendes, leader of the local rubber tappers union, had become a powerful symbol of the struggle to save the rainforest.

His murder sparked outrage and renewed interest in environmental issues worldwide.

Anthropologist Mary Allegretti, a close friend of Mendes, remembers the early days of the struggle to protect the Amazon.

Witness History: The stories of our times told by the people who were there.