The Yanomami Park covers 37,000 square miles in the Brazilian Amazon on the Venezuelan border; it is inhabited by 27,000 Yanomami. Soaring gold prices have resulted in a massive ongoing invasion of the indigenous territory by gold miners who are well supported with monetary backing, heavy equipment and aircraft.On 3 July, a federal judge issued an emergency...
Mineração Rio do Norte (MRN), the world’s fourth largest bauxite producer, encroached on riverine communities beside the Trombetas River in the Brazilian Amazon in the 1970s. Over the years, MRN became notorious for its contamination of local waters with bauxite mining waste, residents say.To resolve that problem, the company built 26 tailings dams. The largest of these...
The Boa Vista Quilombo in Oriximiná, Pará state, is like many Brazilian quilombola communities. Quilombolas are Afro-Brazilian runaway slave descendants, and point to centuries of inequality and neglect by the government. Quilombos often lack running water, basic sanitation and health services.In the 1970s, Mineração Rio do Norte (MRN) annexed much of Boa Vista’s land and established the...
Nearly 25,000 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Brazil, with 1,378 deaths as of April 15, though some experts say this is an underestimate. Those figures continue growing, even as President Jair Bolsonaro downplays the crisis, calling it “no worse than a mild flu,” and places the economy above public health.Scientists warn that the next emergent pandemic...
This article is available on Deutsche Welle's English website. You can read the original Portuguese article here. Main image: Dr Erik Jennings (left) has been helping to treat remote indigenous people for more than 20 years. Image: Erik Jennings The funeral of an 87-year-old indigenous...
This article was first published by The Intercept on 18 March. It was translated for LAB by Chris Whitehouse. You can read the original (in Portuguese) here. LAB has added a note about quilombos and an update on the Covid-19 test results. The main image is from The Intercept. Photo: Nelson...

Brumadinho – one year on

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LAB's Tom Gatehouse talks to those affected by recent tailings dams disasters in Brazil On 25 January last year, a massive tailings dam collapsed at the Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine near Brumadinho in the state of Minas Gerais, in Brazil’s traditional mining heartlands. 11.7 million cubic...
Illegal mining poisons the Amazon A new film by Jorge Bodansky analyzes the mercury contamination of Amazonian rivers as a result of illegal mining Renowned Brazilian filmmaker Jorge Bodansky will preview his new film “Amazonia: the new Minamata?” on 1 February, during the International Colloquium “Amazonia: Rising...
In 2013, Potássio do Brasil, a subsidiary of the Canadian merchant bank, Forbes & Manhattan, began drilling exploratory wells for a giant potassium mine — a highly profitable venture that would allow transport of potash along the Amazon and Madeira rivers. Potash is a vital fertilizer for Brazil’s rapidly growing soy agribusiness...
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...

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