Latin America News

Yanomami community in northern Brazil saying ‘Go away, mining companies’. Image by Victor Moriyama/ISA.

The mining map: Who’s eyeing the gold on Brazil’s indigenous lands?

Applications to mine on indigenous lands in the Amazon have increased by 91% under the Bolsonaro administration. Among the applicants are mining giant Anglo American, small-scale cooperatives whose members are embroiled in a range of environmental violations, and even a São Paulo-based architect.
Yanomami community in northern Brazil saying ‘Go away, mining companies’. Image by Victor Moriyama/ISA.

As bioethanol demand rises, biodiversity will fall in Cerrado, study says

An area half the size of Switzerland in Brazil’s Cerrado biome could see its biodiversity plummet as sugarcane farms expand to meet global demand for bioethanol, a new study says. Researchers calculated that some parts of the Cerrado could see up to 100% loss of mammalian species richness; endangered animals like the maned wolf and the giant anteater will be the most affected.
Kanamari indigenous child in Vale do Javari, in Amazonas state, one of the most vulnerable indigenous reserves to COVID-19, according to an analysis by the Socioenvironmental Institute (ISA), a Brazilian NGO. Image by Bruno Kelly/Amazônia Real

Evicted indigenous people in Manaus struggle to stay safe amid COVID-19 crisis

Some 400 indigenous people displaced from an informal settlement in Manaus have struggled to make a living amid scarce jobs and limited income sources during the COVID-19 crisis. The capital of Amazonas state, Manaus accounts for Brazil’s fourth-highest number of deaths due to COVID-19; authorities warn that the state’s health system is close to its limit.
Kanamari indigenous child in Vale do Javari, in Amazonas state, one of the most vulnerable indigenous reserves to COVID-19, according to an analysis by the Socioenvironmental Institute (ISA), a Brazilian NGO. Image by Bruno Kelly/Amazônia Real

$3 million and an official apology: Brazil’s Ashaninka get unprecedented compensation for deforestation on their land

An unprecedented court settlement guaranteed reparations to the Ashaninka people of the state of Acre, in the Brazilian Amazon, whose lands were deforested in the 1980s to supply the European furniture industry. The indigenous people only agreed with the negotiation because it included an official apology and a recognition of their "enormous importance as guardians" of the Amazon.