South American nation holds the dubious distinction of having the highest number of murders of environmental activistsJuly 8, 2014Earth Island Journal
Brazil is today the most dangerous place in the world to be an environmental activist. By the end of Sunday's final match, an estimated 3.7 million people will have flocked to Brazil to support their home teams. And if statistics hold true, at least two Brazilian environmental activists will have been murdered over the course of the tournament.
Government appeared to be preparing plans at the same time as pursuing a high-profile scheme not to exploit the oilJuly 2, 2014The Guardian
Ecuador's government was moving to install a power plant to exploit oil fields under the iconic Yasuni national park at the same time as pursuing a high-profile international scheme not to exploit the oil, according to government documents seen by the Guardian.
Latest installment of satirical cartoon series calls out Chevron's threats against those who want to hold the oil giant accountable for the mess it made in the Amazon.July 1, 2014MintPress
Created by Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Mark Fiore, the satirical series was created to draw the public’s attention to the threats Chevron has leveled against environmentalists, journalists, scientists and locals who have tried to hold the company accountable for dumping 18 billion gallons of toxic oil waste into rivers and streams, spilling millions of gallons of crude oil, and abandoning hazardous waste in hundreds of unlined open-air pits littered throughout the Amazon region.
"Belo Sun has already shown they want to do the absolute minimum to receive their license to drill and it's encouraging that the federal courts have shown they are not going to let this slide," said Christian Poirier, an activist with the organization Amazon Watch. "Clarifying that you're going to use this much arsenic or dump that much slag by the Xingu River is not enough. If they say clearly what everyone knows is going to happen, do they get an environmental license in any case?"
Law exempts soldiers and police from criminal responsibility if they cause injuries or deathsJune 29, 2014The Guardian
“So far only protesters have been brought to trial,” said Amnesty International in a statement marking five years since the conflict and pointing out that human rights lawyers have said there is no serious evidence linking the accused to the crimes they are being prosecuted for – which include homicide and rebellion.
A Brazilian federal court has revoked Canadian miner Belo Sun Mining's license for the Volta Grande project, which would have become the country's largest gold mine, in the Amazonic state of Para. The ruling, which established the miner failed to assess the impact on local indigenous communities, is a major blow to Belo Sun's ambitions, said Amazon Watch's Brazil Program Consultant Christian Poirier.
Judge Claudio Henrique de Pina said it was "unquestionable" that the mine would have a "negative and irreversible" impact on the quality of life and cultural heritage of the Paquiçamba, Arara da Volta Grande and Ituna/Itatá indigenous communities that straddle the Xingu river.
Gas company wants to drill on indigenous people's ancestral territory in ColombiaJune 17, 2014The Guardian
"The U'wa have watched as their oil-rich neighboring territories have become centers of human rights abuses - perpetrated mostly by pro-government paramilitaries. To anyone who is watching, and particularly to the U'wa, the message is clear: Oil equals violence."
Brazil may be too reliant on hydropower as it builds world’s 3rd biggest dam, according to US Department of EnergyJune 17, 2014RTCC
Hydropower is responsible for more than three quarters of Brazil’s electricity generation, making the present drought a topic of energy security. Notwithstanding the energy security risks, Brazil is in the process of building the world’s third biggest dam, on a tributary of the Amazon.
The green light to drill in one of the world's most biologically significant areas will come at an incalculable cost to Yasuní's biodiversity and the indigenous groups that live there.June 11, 2014The New York Times
Though the government should be held to account, the stillbirth of Yasuni-ITT is a shared failure. Mr. Correa promises to transition from fossil fuels – after the oil is gone. But that may be too late for an area as ecologically fragile and culturally sensitive as Yasuni.