The Synod on the Amazon

A synod is a meeting of representatives of Church communities to discuss issues of doctrine or Church governance.  So far, for most people, so boring.  But when, in February 2019, General Augusto Heleno, President Jair Bolsonaro’s senior security adviser, described October’s Catholic Church synod on the Amazon as ‘relevant to Brazil’s national security’ and having a ‘left-wing agenda’, he was...
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The struggle of an indigenous Amazonian people in defence of their rights and the land on which they live, in Sarayaku, Ecuador -- against the oil companies, the military and the government. Video: in Kichwa and Spanish, with English subtitles. 2017
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Film. Crudo ('Crude oil'). Directed by Joe Berlinger. Red Envelope & Entendre Films. 1hr 44mins. 2009. English subtitles.
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A few years ago, the Ecuadorian government gave an oil company permission to drill for oil on land belonging to the Sarayaku Indigenous Community. The Sarayaku were never consulted and they have been fighting the decision ever since. This film shows them take their struggle to the highest regional court in the...
This is a book of many voices (more than 70 of them, from 14 different countries): of anthropologists and archaeologists; urban planners and architects; artists and musicians; journalists and politicians; women and LGBT people trying to halt gender-based oppression and violence; indigenous activists fighting oil drilling on their territory; residents of favelas resisting evictions; students staking their claim to...
24 October 2018 Dear LAB Supporter and Friend, Brazil on the edge With all eyes on Sunday (28 October)’s second round of Brazil’s presidential elections, LAB has been trying to keep on top of the torrent of news and opinion sent to us. Jan Rocha, our regular São Paulo correspondent has done an extraordinary job. You can see her blog here,...
3. When in doubt, sue the lawyer On July 10 2018, two courts, over 2,800 miles apart, came to diametrically opposite conclusions about one of the worst cases of environmental pollution in the twentieth century. In Quito, Ecuador, the Constitutional Court upheld a ruling that the giant US corporation Chevron Oil was responsible for the catastrophic pollution of a vast...
2. The Ecuadorian government: friend or foe? On July 10 2018, two courts, over 2,800 miles apart, came to diametrically opposite conclusions about one of the worst cases of environmental pollution in the twentieth century. In Quito, Ecuador, the Constitutional Court upheld a ruling that the giant US corporation Chevron Oil was responsible for the catastrophic pollution of a vast...
1. Lago Agrio – Ecuador’s Chernobyl On July 10 2018, two courts, over 2,800 miles apart, came to diametrically opposite conclusions about one of the worst cases of environmental pollution in the twentieth century. In Quito, Ecuador, the Constitutional Court upheld a ruling that the giant US corporation Chevron Oil was responsible for the catastrophic pollution of a vast area...
BOOK REVIEW Chris Feliciano Arnold, The Third Bank of the River. New York: Picador 2018 This book has been classified as ‘travel-writing’, but it is much more than that. The author, Chris Feliciano Arnold, born in Brazil and adopted into a middle-class California family, tells the story of the Amazon river and its associated port-towns near the headwaters on the frontier...
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