The leader of a peasant workers union has been killed in the Brazilian Amazon state of Para, just days after an American nun was fatally shot in the area.

Authorities say Soares da Costa Filho was shot six times Tuesday while traveling to a gathering of peasants in the southern part of the state.

Saturday, Sister Dorothy Stang was murdered near the town of Anapu in the Amazon rain forest, where she campaigned for decades to protect poor residents. Authorities detained the alleged gunmen and a rancher who police believe ordered the assassination.

Sister Dorothy won an award for her work defending the environmentally fragile region and the rights of landless peasants.

Her death has drawn national attention to Anapu, which is notorious for illegal logging and violent conflicts over land.

Some infromation for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.