Thursday, January 17, 2019
It is not only in the Amazon and remote rural areas that indigenous lands are coming under increased pressure as the new Bolsonaro government extends carte blanche to land-thieves and developers. As CIMI (the Conselho Indigenista Missionário - Indigenous Missionary Council) has denounced, indigenous residents of a Guarani community near Porto Alegre are being threatened by security guards hired...
Brazil’s 1988 constitution and other laws established the right of landless peasants to claim unused and underutilized lands. Thousands, with the support of the landless movement, occupied tracts. At times, they even succeeded in getting authorities to set up agrarian reform settlements. Big landowners always opposed giving large tracts of land to the landless but, until roads began...
President-elect Jair Bolsonaro has chosen Ricardo Salles as Brazil’s environment minister. The former São Paulo state government environment secretary is under investigation for allegedly redrawing maps allowing protected lands to be developed for mining and factories. His statements are heavily pro-agribusiness and sometimes espouse violence. The selection of ruralist Tereza Cristina as agriculture minister, and Ernesto Araújo as...
The Tapajós River, a major tributary of the Amazon, is renowned for its extraordinary biodiversity and the vitality of its indigenous and riverine communities. But it is gradually being carved up by highways, hydroelectric dams and railways, built to allow agribusiness, the new powerhouse of the Brazilian economy, to export soya and other products though the Amazon River. Amazon Besieged...

Amazon Besieged

As LAB prepares to launch its new and powerful book*, co-author Sue Branford issues a stark warning of the implications of a Bolsonaro government for the river-basin and the indigenous and riverine communities who live there. Land-grabbers are already taking the law into their own hands – after January 1 the law will become their own. Let us have no...
Colombia: an election which will determine the fate of peace By Thomas Mortensen, Colombia Country Manager, Christian Aid As Colombians head to the polls on the 27th May, the internationally recognised peace agreement signed with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in late 2016, hangs in the balance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGh4F_AlWxA&feature=youtu.be Edited highlights of a debate between Colombian presidential candidates Ivan Duque and Gustavo...
This article was first published by Telesur. You can see the original here. Header image: Fragment of an art piece explaining Wixarika cosmology by Jose Benitez Sanchez. The Wixarika are known for their colorful and meaningful art, as well as their constant struggle for land. Source: EFE The sacred ceremonial island Tatei Haramara was sold to tourism companies without informing the...
This article was re-published from Ricochet by UpsideDownWorld. You can see the original here. Header image:(L-R): Amalia Cac Tiul, Elena Choc Quib, Carmelina Caal Ical, and Angelica Choc outside TD Tower, Toronto, Nov. 8, 2017. Source: Heather Gies Elena Choc Quib, a unilingual Q’eqchi’ speaker from a remote village in rural Guatemala, never imagined travelling outside her country, let alone boarding...
What do you do if you’re living on public land, in a house that your great-grandparents built in an era before strict housing regulations, and the government suddenly decides to evict you? This dilemma afflicts several informal settlements known as favelas, along with other occupations of public land by traditional communities. With a political landscape increasingly intolerant of these...
This article was first published by UpsideDownWorld. You can see the original here. Header image: Families in Chab’il Ch’och’ look out over their burning homes during a forced eviction. Photo taken by a community member during the eviction. The war on Indigenous communities in Guatemala didn’t end with the country’s 1996 Peace Accords. It continues today in the form of land...

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