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Voices of Latin America: LAB Newsletter 19 December 2018

LAB's important new book is launched... just as Bolsonaro prepares to abolish most environmental protection.

19 December 2018 Dear LAB Supporter and Friend,

LAB News

Two new major LAB publications in two months. First Amazon Besieged – by dams, soya, agribusiness and land-grabbing, by Mauricio Torres and Sue Branford. And then, on January 18, Voices of Latin America – social movements and the new activism, edited by Tom Gatehouse.
Voices of Latin America – social movements and the new activism will be published on 18 January. The launch party on that day is at popular London music venue Rich Mix, in Shoreditch, starting at 7:00 pm. You can reserve tickets (and a copy of the book at super-discount price) at: You can reserve mail-order copies of the book at: Hurry! Space is limited. Louise Morris will interview the book’s editor, Tom Gatehouse. Actors will read brief extracts from the voices. Our guest will be Pavel Nuñez from Honduras, one of the ‘voices’ interviewed in the book. Pavel is a musician, social media activist and educator. Sue Branford will talk about LAB’s other new publication, Amazon Besieged, which was launched at the Latin America Adelante conference on 1 December. The launch party will continue with music (from Colombian DJ Amanda Chamorro – aka La Vecina), Latin American food and a bar. Prices: In advance: Ticket only £7.50; or Ticket + Book £20 (includes copy of the book to collect on the night). On the night: Ticket only £10.00. Copies of the book: £15.00
Amazon Besieged –  by dams, soya, agribusiness and land-grabbing by Mauricio Torres and Sue Branford was published and launched on 1 December at a well-attended meeting during the Latin America Adelante 2018 Conference. You can order copies by mail from: The book is extremely timely, as president elect Jair Bolsonaro embarks on his plan to deliver everything that the Bancada Ruralista of land-owners has ever dreamed of: a bonfire of environmental regulations; an end to all meaningful restraints on development, mining, and construction of dams and highways; a purge of the agencies which attempt to defend the Amazon rainforest and its inhabitants; and the removal of all legal protections for indigenous communities, quilombos and rural workers. Co-author Sue Branford considers all these and other implications in a wide-ranging interview with US environmental website Mongabay, sponsor of her recent Amazon research trips (Read more…). Work on our next major publication Overburden: community resistance to mining in Latin America is well under way. Matt Kennard travelled to Chile and Argentina, visiting communities affected by lithium, copper and gold mining, and hopes to go to Central America in January. We expect to publish accounts of his trips in the New Year.

News from the region

LAB partner Christian Aid conducted a major campaign in November-December against Gender Based Violence. Read their account of the work of their partners on this issue in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Guatemala. (Read more…) A new book, “Antes a Água era Cristalina, Pura e Sadia – Percepções quilombolas e ribeirinhas dos impactos e riscos da mineração em Oriximiná, Pará” [Before, the water was crystal clear, pure and healthy. Perceptions of the Quilombola and riverine communities on the impacts and risks of mining in Oriximiná, Pará] has been published by the Comissão Pró-Indio de São Paulo, and is reviewed here.. LAB previously published a series (commissioned by Christian Aid) of four blog-posts about the devastating effects of bauxite mining on the region. Jan Rocha, LAB’s regular São Paulo correspondent, has compared Jair Bolsonaro’s new cabinet to a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (Read more…) and, writing after more appointments were made, Sue Branford has written a powerful piece for Mongabay, detailing the implications (Read more…). Best wishes, The LAB Team  

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