Thursday, January 17, 2019
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...
From 2016 to 2017, Mongabay contributors Sue Branford and Maurício Torres traveled to the Tapajós River Basin, in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, to report on the controversial plan to turn the region into a major commodities export corridor. Branford and Torres wrote a 15-part investigative series (published in partnership with The Intercept Brazil) based on what...
In a book released by the Comissão Pró-Índio de São Paulo this week, the affected population reveals the socio-environmental consequences of 40 years of bauxite extraction in Oriximiná, Brazil. The book “Antes a Água era Cristalina, Pura e Sadia – Percepções quilombolas e ribeirinhas dos impactos e riscos da mineração em Oriximiná, Pará”  discusses the consequences of bauxite extraction from...
The recent death of the 24-year-old Mapuche activist and leader Camilo Catrillanca has sparked widespread condemnation and protests throughout Chile. On Wednesday November 14, a newly created special ‘anti-terrorist’ unit of Carabineros, the Chilean police, known as Comando Jungla entered the Mapuche traditional community of Temukuikui near the town of Ercilla in the Araucanía region, approximately 370 miles south of...
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...
LAB author Matt Kennard who has begun work to  research and write a LAB book about community resistance to mining, interviewed Lucio Cuenca, director of Santiago-based OCMAL, the Observatory of Mining Conflicts in Latin America, on his recent visit to London. Latin America is enjoying an uptick in resistance to multinational mining companies and new alliances are being created across...
‘Remember Germany, 1934,’ my moderate brother advises, ‘and be explicit’. For forty years, I have written from the threshold between resistance and liberation. I never imagined we would live on the threshold between ‘the least worse’ and fascism. My eyes brim with tears. I don’t want to leave the House of Rivers. ‘In times of fake news and seamless...
São Paulo, October 23. On the eve of the second round of the presidential elections, armed police and officials from electoral tribunals invaded at least 30 state universities up and down the country, confiscating anti-fascist banners and posters, intimidating lecturers and students and interrupting debates.  Judges justified these arbritrary actions by saying the materials and activities were pro-Fernando Haddad,...

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