Francisco Alves Mendes Filho, known as Chico Mendes was born in December 1944. He was son of rubber gatherer, he had learnt his father’s profession when he was a child.
He began his life as a trade union leader in 1975 as the secretary of “Sindicato dos trabalhadores Rurais de Brasiléia”
On and after 1976 he started to participate of movements of the rubber gatherer against the deforestation. Those movements were called “empates”. They were pacific manifestations in which people protect the trees with their own bodies. They also defended the right of propriety of the land by the native inhabitant of the region.
In 1977 he is elected town councilor. As he fights against big groups interested in the exploration of the Amazon rainforest he started to be threaten of death in this same year.
In 1979 Chico Mendes promotes great discussions in which union popular and religious leaders take part. Because of this he was accused of subversion and suffered hard interrogatories and was secretly tortured. As he didn’t have a support he couldn’t denounce the fact.
Chico Mendes was the president of “Sindicato de Xapuri” of the first National rubber gatherer Meeting was created the CNS (Conselho Nacional dos Seringueiros).
In 1987 Chico Mendes is visited by members of ONU where they could see the devastation of the forest. Three months later the financing of many projects were suspended. And Chico Mendes is accused of prejudice the progress by farmers and politics from
In 1988 he took part of the implantation of the fist Extractivest Reserves created in