More About Mining
Over the last few months some 13,000 Munduruku have been protesting against government plans to build a series of hydroelectric dams that will flood part of their land on the upper reaches of the Tapajos river.
Davi Kopenawa, shaman and internationally renowned spokesman for the Yanomami tribe in Brazil's Amazon rainforest, has demanded urgent police protection following a series of death threats by armed thugs reportedly hired by goldminers operating illegally on Yanomami land.
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.
Citing Belo Sun's failure to assess the impacts of its planned mega-mine on nearby indigenous communities, a federal judge rescinded the company's licenses, putting the brakes on yet another Amazon extractive industry tragedy.
"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?"
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.
In honor of Indigenous Peoples Day in Brazil last month, a group of high-profile Brazilian artists announced that they were fed up with the mounting attacks against Brazil's indigenous peoples and called on the public to take urgent action in support of indigenous rights.
"It was the happiest day of my life that I never saw coming. It was a victory and now I know I can smile again to life. On that day nothing else, not even all of what my family had been through, mattered."
The failure to respond to an NGO letter challenging investment in the Mirador mining project has played to Ecuadorian fears about China's growing cloutMay 12, 2014China Dialogue
"The recently acquired debt is driving a new Amazonian oil boom, setting the stage for a major battle over rights and resources that will shape the future of the Amazon and its people."