With little or no help from the state, this is not the first time that the Tapajós ribeirinhos have faced a threat to their land and their way of life from projects coming from Brasília.
Leaders from the indigenous Matsés people in the Peruvian Amazon say they remain vehemently opposed to potential operations in their territory by a Canada-based oil company.
State company Ecopetrol pulls out of drilling site in territories belonging to the indigenous U’wa peopleMarch 26, 2015The Guardian
The indigenous U'wa people living in north-east Colombia have won what observers call an "historic" and "decisive" victory after state oil and gas company Ecopetrol dismantled a gas drilling site in their territories.
"There is basically a climate of impunity," says Christian Poirer of Amazon Watch. "Only one percent of the fines that IBAMA levels on individuals and corporations for illegal deforestation are actually collected." This agency, which is responsible for implementing Brazil's environmental laws, is, he says, "woefully underfunded and understaffed."
The relative success of direct action in recent decades contrasts with the often bloody encounters that went before, from which poorly-armed Indians invariably emerged badly.
"Justice isn't something that the government has in its pocket or Chevron has in its bank account,” said Mitch Anderson of ClearWater. “It's something that communities build.”
Out-of-court settlement ends long legal battle for compensation for deaths, birth defects and environmental damage allegedly caused by Occidental's pollutionMarch 5, 2015The Guardian
Members of the indigenous Achuar tribe from the Peruvian Amazon have won an undisclosed sum from Occidental Petroleum in an out-of-court settlement after a long-running legal battle in the US courts.
Members of two different Peruvian native groups have occupied the airport of Pluspetrol, an Argentine oil company that is accused of failing to compensate local communities for damage to the environment.
"We're concerned that deforestation will continue unabated despite the fact that [Castanha]'s been arrested," Christian Poirier, said the Brazil-EU Advocacy Coordinator for the forest and indigenous rights protection group Amazon Watch. "There've been arrests made. There've been some serious attempts to break up these [deforestation] mafias. But I'm afraid that the structures that allow this to happen, which is to say the lack of governance and the signals that are coming from the central government in Brazil ... are all sending signals that [deforestation] is going to be tolerated."
Deforestation in the Amazon has skyrocketed in the past half a year, according to analysis of satellite images issued by Brazil's non-profit research institute, IMAZON.