We use cookies for site personalization and analytics. You can opt out of third party cookies. More info in our privacy policy.   Got it

Brazilian indigenous group expels illegal loggers

Indigenous Peoples

Screenshot from short documentary by Phil Clarke Hill and Ruy Sposati. © Image captured by Amazon Ka’apor community.

The Amazon Ka’apor community takes the struggle for sovereignty into its own hands, Phil Clarke Hill and Ruy Sposati show.

Maranhao is the state on the eastern flank of the Brazilian Amazon, a region that was densely forested but more recently has borne the brunt of rapid deforestation.

According to the Imazon research institute, the Brazilian lumber industry is valued at around $1.6 billion per year, and of this a whopping 76% is harvested illegally.*

The Amazon is not only the largest tropical forest in the world but it is also the main source of wood for this substantial illegal industry.

The region’s Ka’apor indigenous community has been up against an ongoing battle with illegal loggers for many years.

In Brazil, recognized indigenous groups have land demarcated by FUNAI – the National Indian Foundation – and it is illegal for those not from the community to farm, hunt or harvest natural resources from this land. However, as these areas are often remote and large, it is difficult to enforce such measures and therefore such activities are unfortunately commonplace.

Disenchanted by an apparent lack of activity from IBAMA (Brazil’s environmental protection authority) and as a reaction to this problem, the community has been forced to take matters into its own hands, taking evasive action against the loggers; seizing illegally harvested timber, destroying equipment and physically expelling them are some of the tactics they have undertaken. This however, has come with a price.

This short video documentary tells the story of their struggle.

*Source: Chatham House

Help us produce more like this

Editor Portrait Patreon is a platform that enables us to offer more to our readership. With a new podcast, eBooks, tote bags and magazine subscriptions on offer, as well as early access to video and articles, we’re very excited about our Patreon! If you’re not on board yet then check it out here.

Support us »

Subscribe   Ethical Shop