‘Coronavirus will never hit Costa Rica. There are no direct flights between China and here’. These are the words that an acquaintance confidently shared just 7 weeks ago. Now, Costa Rica is practically in lockdown mode. Meanwhile, Ticos, like people in most other countries, are wondering when the COVID-19 pandemic will end and normality will resume. I first...
Record The youth stares at his imprisoned canoe a bleached skeleton in the cracked earth. Intuitively, he plants his feet on the arrowhead of earth where the Rivers Tocantins and Itacaiúnas meet and slowly, with shame, presses...
In 2017, Brazilian authorities decided to ban paraquat because of its links to Parkinson’s disease. But since then, imports have increased, and restrictions have been relaxed due to pressure from foreign chemical companies. Translated by Tom Gatehouse. You can read the original (in Portuguese) here. This is the second in a series of articles...
This article is an edited version of one published by Ojo Público. You can see the original here. Five years after the murder in the heart of the Amazon of the Asheninka leaders Edwin Chota, Jorge Ríos Pérez, Leoncio Quintisima Meléndez, and Francisco Pinedo Ramírez, OjoPúblico traveled to Ucayali. Our...
While the media focused in 2019 on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s incendiary remarks, or on the Amazon fires, he has quietly instituted new policies likely to aid land grabbers and do great harm to Amazon forests, indigenous and traditional peoples. “Death by 1,000 Cuts” parts 1 and 2 reviews those policies.Executive decree...
Potássio do Brasil, a mining company; Autazes municipal authorities; the federal and Amazonas state governments; and large-scale soy growers all want one thing: to open a potash mine in the town of Autazes that would supply soy producers with Brazilian fertilizer, so as not to buy and pay for imported potash. All stand...

Brazil: SOS from Altamira

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On 15 December the journalist, Ricardo Kotscho, who works in São Paulo, received an SOS from his friend, Eliane Brum, a well-known and much-loved journalist, who lives in Altamira in the heart of the Amazon. Eliane has published a series of scathing attacks on President Jair Bolsonaro and his government, most of them...
This is the first of a series of articles contributed by LAB partner Agência Pública from São Paulo, Brazil. It brings together material first published in the series 'Amazônia sem Lei' on Agência Pública's website. You can see the original and other material (in Portuguese) here. 97.7% of conflict...

Lithium: draining the desert

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Peine, Chile and Susques, Argentina – Within minutes of driving out of tourist hotspot San Pedro de Atacama in northern Chile you are deep in the Earth’s driest desert. Vast stretches of reddish-orange sand fly past on both sides. Every now and then you pass the odd dwelling, but this sparse setting changes when you reach the Salar de Atacama:...
A number of indigenous leaders from the Amazon were at the forefront of climate action events in New York 19-28 September 2019. The protests, rallies and symposia were organised around the UN Climate Action Summit that took place alongside the annual UN General Assembly. Linda Etchart was there for LAB and interviewed a...

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