RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- An environmentalist was shot and killed while trying to stop poachers near Rio de Janeiro, officials said Wednesday.
Police said Dionisio Julio Pinheiro Filho was killed late Tuesday near the Tingua Nature Reserve, not far from the famous seaside city.
Environmental officials suspected he was killed by poachers and hunters with whom he often clashed.
The environmentalist's slaying follows the well-publicized killing of American nun and activist Dorothy Stang in Brazil's northern state of Para earlier this month.
Officials have arrested three men in connection with Stang's death, all of whom said a local farmer had paid them to kill Stang, who often fought with area loggers and land developers.