RIO DE JANEIRO – French police on Wednesday joined the investigation into the murder of French biologist Pierre Jauffret, who died this week from a beating he received last month at his house in a village in Brazil’s Amazon region.
Jean Michel, a police attache at the French Embassy in Brasilia, on Wednesday traveled to the town of Santo Antonio do Taua to collaborate with the Brazilian police, the online edition of Diario do Para reported.
Jauffret, 72, died on Monday after spending 14 days in the hospital being treated for the attack he suffered Nov. 29 at his home, located in a environmental preserve.
Para state police inspector Maria Amelia Delgada said in a communique that a busload of tourists is suspected in the attack.
Four witnesses told police that the group got out of the bus in front of the nature preserve to relieve themselves, which sent the biologist into a “rage,” according to the communique.
Jauffret produced a gun and fired twice at the tourists, who reacted by jumping over the wall of his home and beating and kicking him all over his body, witnesses said.
Delgada said that the crime had no relation to the victim’s two decades of work protecting the Amazon region.
But the son of the biologist, Jacques Jauffret, said that his father had no weapons and added that he had many enemies due to his defense of the environment.
“My father was a great activist. He had many problems with hunters who invaded the preserve, with people who tried to occupy the area to build houses, with groups that wanted to take wood and even with the government, because he opposed the establishment of a dump nearby,” he told the G1 news Web site. EFE