Bem viver, the good life, is possible — LAB Newsletter December 2019
This has been an extraordinary year, with many setbacks but some remarkable signs of hope. To celebrate the latter, we report on our partner project Rios de Encontro, in Marabá, in the Amazon. Fresh from a tour of Europe, their performance troupe AfroRaiz is going into schools and around their local community, Cabelo Seco, with a positive vision of a sustainable future. Let’s celebrate them.
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An anguished appeal from Brazil
From elsewhere in the Amazon an anguished appeal reached us from Eliane Brum, the distinguished journalist who lives in Altamira, on the Xingu River.
‘I don’t know what else to do, my dear friend, to get people to act. I think that these intermittent howls of agony expressed in social media help to dull the pain – pain that should not be dulled, because we need to be panic-stricken – but don’t change anything.
‘Here we sleep with death — or, more frequently, we don’t sleep,’ she writes. ‘I can’t stand any more people warning me: “They will kill you”. I know they will. And there is nothing I can do to stop it… I’m very frightened about what could happen during this Christmas holiday season… White people will rest, and people who are not white will be shot.’
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The outcome of the disastrous November election remains uncertain. Evo Morales is now in Argentina, where the incoming president Alberto Fernández granted him political asylum. MAS, Evo’s party, appears divided. New elections have been promised but are not assured. The interim government of Jeanine Añez has said Morales will be indicted as a terrorist. LAB’s Francesca Hartmann analyzes the current state of play.
In the third of a series of articles about the way local communities oppose or, in some cases, welcome the mining companies, Valeria Guarneros-Meza looks at Cananea in Sonora State, where the world’s seventh largest copper mine at Buenavista del Cobre has provided employment and some benefits, but now threatens essential water supplies.
A Rapist in Your Path
Finally, Emily Gregg writes from Arica, in northern Chile, about the impact of the remarkable protest dance-routine ‘A Rapist in Your Path’, which has become an anthem for the anti-government protestors in Chile, but gone on to cross the world and be embraced by women’s groups everywhere.