Friday, December 15, 2017
Land grabbing and illegal ranching (even on public lands) has long been, and still is, big business in the Brazilian Amazon. Last year the Brazilian government launched its most ambitious crackdown ever. And some of the criminals caught up in the federal police net were members of Brazil’s richest families. In June 2016, federal law enforcement pounced on...
In the early 2000s, public outrage over Amazon clear cutting for soy production caused transnational grain companies including Cargill, Bunge and Brazil’s Amaggi, to join with soy producers and environmental NGOs including Greenpeace to sign the voluntary Amazon Soy Moratorium, banning direct conversion of Amazon forests to soy after 2006. The agreement’s signatories have long proclaimed its phenomenal...
The meteoric rise in soy production in the state of Mato Grosso is eating up rainforest and savanna at a staggering rate, with 1.2 million hectares under production in 1991; 6.2 million hectares in 2010; and 9.4 million hectares by 2016. Much of that soy is being exported to China, and it is expected that Brazil will grow...
The Tapajós River Basin lies at the heart of the Amazon, and at the heart of an exploding controversy: whether to build 40+ large dams, a railway, and highways, turning the Basin into a vast industrialized commodities export corridor; or to curb this development impulse and conserve one of the most biologically and culturally rich regions on the planet. Those...
The Tapajós River Basin lies at the heart of the Amazon, and also at the heart of an exploding controversy: whether to build more than 40 large dams, a railway, roads, canals and port complexes, turning the Basin into a vast industrialized commodities export corridor; or to curb this development impulse and conserve one of the most biologically and...
On 4 January, a congressional commission with full investigative powers was created to deal with the accusations of illegal payments to government officials by Odebrecht, the Brazilian construction company. These relate to infrastructure contracts obtained from the Peruvian government from at least 2005 onwards. The information came to light as part of the wider investigation into the so-called ‘Lava...

Rio: from kudos to chaos

In less than three months Rio has passed from the splendour and success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to a state of public calamity and chaos. The state government is bankrupt; salaries are in arrears, hospitals are at breaking point, suppliers are unpaid.  The causes include the steep drop in the royalties enjoyed by Rio when the oil price...
In a third and final blog post from Punta Gorda, Belize, Rachel joins an indigenous community led forest patrol and witnesses the damaging impacts of oil exploration in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. In Crique Sarco, Village Council Leader Mr Choc explains how his community is working to safeguard their land for the future.   Back in the SATIIM office...
A group of international writers have just published in Portuguese a book repudiating the constitutional coup in Brazil. This is the UK contribution, written jointly by Sue Branford and Hilary Wainwright.
So what are prospects for the left in the face of a concerted US-backed right-wing offensive? Left-wing activists in Brazil give us their views.

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