Brazil

Journey through a changing land

Elisa Hornett
Rita Mendonça
| 24th August 2018
ELISA HORNETT and RITA MENDONCA report on a life-affirming canoe expedition along Brazil’s Xingu River to visit communities who say their land and livelihoods have been violated by the building of a hydroelectric plant

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Man with crowds

Defending democracy in Brazil means demanding Lula da Silva’s freedom

Lucia Ortiz
| 31st May 2018
Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva - Brazil’s former president - has been imprisoned for corruption. International legal experts have condemned Lula’s incarceration as unlawful and unconstitutional. LUCIA ORTIZ from Friends of the Earth Brazil argues the corruption claims are trumped up as part of a right wing attack on human rights and grassroots movements

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How beekeeping has turned around the lives of a community in Brazil

Katie Dancey-Downs
| 4th May 2018
Some honey producers have a bad reputation for welfare standards - but many beekeepers are doing things very differently. The Barro Vermelho community in Brazil is using beekeeping to help regenerate the natural world, increase bee populations, and simultaneously create a better life for people. Eusebio De Carvalho told his story to The Lush Times writer KATIE DANCEY-DOWNS

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Uncontacted people, like these pictured in iconic aerial photos released in 2011, are the most vulnerable people on the planet © Survival

Uncontacted people are still being massacred in the Amazon

Lewis Evans
| 15th November 2017
Massacres like that reported to have taken place recently in the Amazon are sadly neither new nor uncommon. For uncontacted tribal peoples, the colonial era continues, as bandits and extractive industries, abetted by a corrupt government, inflict violence and plunder on them. LEWIS EVANS puts this brutality into context, and examines potential solutions.

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The 14th 'Free Terra' Camp in Praç;a dos Ipês, Brasília, during April 24-28 2017. Over 4,000 representatives from 200 indigenous peoples from all regions of the country were present in a large demonstration of strength of the indigenous movement. Photo:

Brazil: Increase in land killings as political crisis threatens Amazon

Joe Sandler Clarke
Sam Cowie
Greenpeace Energydesk
| 7th June 2017
Impunity reigns in the Amazon, write Joe Sandler Clarke & Sam Cowie, and the indigenous peoples of the forest are the big losers as they suffer repeated killings and land grabs. Big cuts to Funai, the agency meant to protect Brazil's indigenous tribes, have encouraged land barons to expand their land holdings into indigenous territories and murder any who resist.

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Guarani tribal leader and activist Ladio Veron speaking outside the Brazilian Embassy in London, in an action replicated across the globe. Photo: still from Survival video.

Only global protest can secure land rights and justice for Brazil's Guarani people

Lewis Evans
| 24th May 2017
On the one side, the Guarani people and the entire panoply of international and Brazilian law asserting the rights of indigenous peoples to their lives, lands, and way of life. Against them, the entrenched economic and political power of farmers, ranchers, loggers and others exploiting the wealth of the Guarani's soils, forests and waters. Right now the power of money is winning every time. Only with international pressure can the Guarani emerge victorious.

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Mural in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in celebration of indigenous culture by the artist Eduardo Kobra. Photo: Stefano Ravalli via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Brazil: Amazon's Indians, rainforest under attack

Jan Rocha
Climate News Network
| 10th May 2017
Attacks on Amazon Indians and on their land rights are threatening vital areas of rainforest, writes Jan Rocha. Meanwhile FUNAI, the agency responsible for safeguarding indigenous tribes is being forced to withdraw from key conflict zones due to underfunding, while Indians' attempts to assert their rights are met with state violence.

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Seen here in 2008, this uncontacted indigenous community in Brazil's Amazon may be fierce in defence of its lands. But they don't stand a chance in the face of bulldozers, chainsaws, automatic weapons, and the new diseases brought by loggers, miners and f

Brazil: Government to abandon tribes to 'genocide' by loggers and ranchers

Oliver Tickell
| 26th April 2017
Brazil's extreme right wing government is preparing to open up the rainforest territories of dozens of uncontacted indigenous tribes to 'free for all' development by defunding the protection they currently receive, according to information received by Survival International, which warns: 'The reality is these cuts could sanction genocide.'

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The Amazonian manatee, considered 'vulnerable' by the IUCN, is among the species at risk if oil drilling goes ahead. Photo: susy freitas via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

BP, Total oil drilling would endanger newly discovered Amazon coral reef

Lawrence Carter
Energydesk
| 23rd February 2017
A unique and pristine coral reef in the mouth of the Amazon is threatened by oil drilling planned by oil giants Total and BP, say the scientists who recently explored it. But the oil companies are determined to press ahead despite the risks, writes Lawrence Carter, and Brazil's environment ministry is set to give its approval.

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Site of a proposed palm oil plantation in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo: Dr Ward Berenschot, Author provided.

The new colonialism: 'developing' superpowers join the global land grab

Nikita Sud
University of Oxford
| 31st January 2017
Land grabbing has been going on since the mists of time, writes Nikita Sud, and took off like never before under European colonialism. But now 'developing' countries are also getting in on the act - notably China, an economic superpower in its own right, as it ruthlessly, and often corruptly, expands its global land holdings at the expense of nature and small scale farmers.

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Sônia Guajajara, coordinator of the National Indigenous Association, marching for indigenous rights to health care. Photo: Gert-Peter Bruch / Planète Amazone.

Resisting authoritarianism: Brazil's indigenous victories show the way

Christian Poirier
Amazon Watch
| 22nd November 2016
Brazil's indigenous peoples rose up against the government's plans to suppress the rights they had fought so hard to win over decades, writes Christian Poirier. Their victory shows the way to defend our achievements and rights: collective struggle, organized response, strong mobilization and ceaseless pressure.

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Almir Narayamoga Surui, Chief of the Paiter Surui meeting Prince Charles in 2010 after being awarded a major prize for his humanitarian and ecological work

This is my cry of alarm, please listen to me!

Almir Narayamoga Surui
Chief of the Paiter Surui indigenous people
| 17th October 2016
Today, the Chief of the Paiter Surui indigenous people in the state of Rondônia, Brazil has issued the following plea for help to stop illegal logging and mining on their lands. The letter is unedited.

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Yanomami children in their forest home - which, with notorious 'Soy King' Bairo Maggi as agriculture minister, is now looking decidedly less secure. Photo: Dung Nguyen via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Brazil’s new government to sacrifice the Amazon for 'growth'

Ed Atkins
University of Bristol
| 19th September 2016
It's not that Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's ousted President, was wonderful for the environment, writes Ed Atkins. It's that Michel Temer's new regime is certain to be far worse. Plans are afoot to weaken environmental assessments for large projects like mines, roads and dams. And the new Minister of Agriculture is a notorious campaigner for hugely increased deforestation.

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Brazil's Zo'é tribe are starting to recover from epidemics in the 1980s and '90s now that their land is protected. Photo: Survival International.

Brazil's Olympic triumph - don't mention the genocide!

Lewis Evans
| 25th August 2016
In the thick of the Olympic frenzy, one voice that was systematically excluded from mainstream narratives is that of Brazil's Indigenous Peoples, writes Lewis Evans, who have fought to survive through centuries of dehumanisation, theft and genocide. And now they face a fresh attack as a proposed constitutional change, PEC 215, threatens a new round of indigenous land theft.

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Munduruku indigenous people set up a sign to demarcate their land. Photo: Greenpeace.

Brazil's indigenous peoples fight Amazon dams threat

Helle Abelvik-Lawson
| 1st August 2016
Brazil's new neoliberal government is intent on building a massive new dam deep in the Amazon rainforest on the on the Tapajós river, writes Helle Abelvik-Lawson, obliterating the indigenous territory of the Munduruku people in defiance of their constitutional rights.

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A Guarani woman at the roadside. Photo: Survival International.

The 'slow genocide' of Brazil's Guarani people must stop

Lewis Evans
| 3rd June 2016
Land theft, agribusiness and violence pose an existential threat to Brazil's Guarani people, writes Lewis Evans. They maintain a powerful resolve to regain their historic lands, and even have the law on their side - but the tribe will need international support to prevail against murderous ranchers and farmers, corrupt politicians and a paralysed legal system.

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Greenpeace activists and Munduruku Indians protest on a sandy beach on the banks of the Tapajos river, near Itaituba, Pará, where the government plans to build the first of a series of five dams. Photo: Greenpeace Brazil via Flickr (CC BY).

Brazil: rules protecting Amazon under threat

Helle Abelvik-Lawson
| 27th May 2016
A constitutional amendment that would allow 'strategic' public works including dams, roads, mines and other mega-projects to go ahead following the mere completion of an environmental impact assessment is being considered by a Committee of the Brazilian Senate, writes Helle Abelvik-Lawson.

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If laws currently being debated by Brazilian lawmakers are passed, we can expect huge tracts of the Amazon to go up in flames in coming years, like these 2011 fires along the Rio Xingu. Photo: NASA's Earth Observatory via Flickr (CC BY).

Ecocide in Brazil: new laws threaten Amazon devastation

Jan Rocha
| 12th May 2016
Amidst the turmoil of the presidential impeachment, writes Jan Rocha, right wing members of Brazil's Congress are set to pass new laws that would build new roads across the Amazon, open up indigenous reserves to industrial exploitation, and create a surge in carbon emissions from burning forests.

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With damming of the Tapajos river, a whole world of biodiversity, beauty and indigenous cultures will be destroyed forever. Photo: Canoe on the Tapajos by Clairex (CC BY-NC-SA).

European companies line up to bid for Amazon megadam

Zachary Davies Boren
Greenpeace Energydesk
| 13th April 2016
Disregarding revelations of systemic political corruption in Brazil's hydropower sector, President Dilma Rousseff is ploughing ahead with a cascade of giant dams on the mighty Tapajos river. Among the companies touting to win huge construction contracts are France's EDF and Engie, and Germany's Voith and Siemens - in a consortium led by Brazil's Electrobras, which stands accused of high-level corruption over four other dam projects.

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Insecticide spraying in Brazil, 2014. Photo: Malova Gobernador via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Zika, microcephaly, and pesticides: half-truths, hysteria, and vested interests

Claire Robinson
GMWatch
| 26th February 2016
Those who dare suggest that pesticides might be implicated in Brazil's microcephaly outbreak are being furiously attacked as irrational, nonsense-spouting 'conspiracy theorists', writes Claire Robinson. But the attackers have an uncanny ability to get their own facts in a twist. And among them are writers linked to industries with huge economic interests in the matter.

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Since 2014, the insecticide Pyriproxyfen has been use to kill mosquitos in water tanks in Brazil. Water tank in Bahia state, northeast Brazil. Photo: Francois Le Minh via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Argentine and Brazilian doctors suspect mosquito insecticide as cause of microcephaly

Claire Robinson
GMWatch
| 10th February 2016
With the proposed connection between the Zika virus and Brazil's outbreak of microcephaly in new born babies looking increasingly tenuous, Latin American doctors are proposing another possible cause: Pyriproxyfen, a pesticide used in Brazil since 2014 to arrest the development of mosquito larvae in drinking water tanks. Might the 'cure' in fact be the poison?

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