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Communities in the Brazilian Amazon

This week, thanks to LAB collaborator Bruna Rocha, we are turning our attention to the struggles of a host of small communities along the basin of the river Tapajós in the Brazilian Amazon. These communities run the risk of losing their land and their livelihoods because of the Brazilian government’s determination to push ahead with a series of large dams that most environmentalists believe are not needed to supply the country’s energy needs.  The government’s action is almost certainly unconstitutional and, according to a study carried out by a reputable institute, the forest destruction involved in the construction of these dams will make it very difficult for the government to honour its international commitment to limit carbon emissions. Read more.

Another issue, largely ignored by the world’s press, that we are covering in some detail, is the continuing social conflict and violence in Honduras. This week we carry articles on the repercussions of the killing of four fisherfolk in the Mosquitia region by the DEA and the Honduran police. Read more. And the meddling of Canada and Chile in the formulation of domestic policies for mining and security. Read more.

We continue too with our coverage of the new debate on how to combat drug-trafficking, given the scale of the damage it is doing to the financial health, political stability, and national security of virtually every country in the Americas. In a masterly article for The New York Review of Books, Alma Guillermoprieto says an important taboo was broken at the Cartagena summit when old allies of Washington started talking openly about decriminalisation. Read more.