Friday, October 20, 2017
This is a slightly edited version of an article, first published by Brasil Wire. You can see the original here. It is always hard to explain Brazilian politics to foreigners. There is a lot of history and many characters and there are 25 political parties represented in Congress alone. It is even harder to explain how illegitimate president Michel Temer,...
A factory fire on June 22 in the Las Malvinas district of Lima, Peru, that killed four young people has drawn official and international attention to the sometimes deadly risk posed by the country’s use of forced labor, or slave labor. This tragedy, the International Labor Organization says, revealed that the Peruvian factory had operated in an abusive manner that...
Brazil’s president has until 22 June to approve or veto two bills (PLC 4 and PLC 5) turning over more than 600,000 hectares (2,317 square miles) of federally protected Amazon forest to illegal loggers, illegal miners and land thieves. The measures, initiated by Temer and already approved by Congress, are seen as a reward to the bancada ruralista...
São Paulo, May 22. Few Brazilians were familiar with the name of Joesley Batista, who with his brother, Wesley, owns Brazil’s biggest meat packing industry, JBS, now part of the multinational holding J&F. But the revelations of his secretly taped tête a tête with President Michel Temer, alone in the Jaburu Palace late at night on March 7, off...
Since 2001, Brazil has almost doubled its area of protected land without increasing its conservation budget. In the central corridor of the Atlantic Forest, protected areas are scattered among large extensions of eucalyptus monocultures maintained by pulp companies. With limited resources and facing powerful companies, those in charge of protected areas are stuck between a rock and a...
If the immigration agenda of Donald Trump and his administration is not enough of a racist assault on the human rights of Mexicans, the overall impact of this demagogue’s agenda on the economy of its long-suffering southern neighbour adds insult to injury. The immediate effect of Trump’s victory and first 100 days in power has been to weaken an already...
The battle for the Amazon is being fought over two opposing viewpoints: the first, mostly held by indigenous and traditional people and their conservationist allies, sees forests and rivers as valuable for their own sake, and for the livelihoods, biodiversity, ecological services and climate change mitigation they provide. For them the forests need protection. The second worldview holds...
PLEASE DONATE TO LAB's VOICES OF LATIN AMERICA PROJECT: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/voices-of-latin-america Agamenom da Silva Menezes, is typical of modern Amazonian real estate operators: he is a wealthy individual who openly works with those who make a living by illegally laying claim to, deforesting and selling public lands for a high price. Lawlessness in the region means such land theft is...
Sâo Paulo. April 19. The sheer scale and volume of the gigantic bribery operation that has been bankrolling the entire infrastructure of Brazilian politics over the last 30 years is breathtaking. The details, revealed by the declarations of over 70 executives of Brazil’s top construction company, Odebrecht, to teams of public prosecutors investigating the Lava Jato corruption scandal, would...
In the Brazilian Amazon, the paving of highways makes adjacent forests far more attractive to land thieves, resulting in major deforestation. The Sustainable BR-163 Plan of 2006 created vast swathes of protected land — eight new conservation units — to prevent land theft and deforestation from happening near the vulnerable BR-163 highway in Pará state. From the start, land speculators...

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