Indigenous Struggles in Brazil

A few stories on indigenous rights from Brazil worth highlighting here.

First, in tragic but unsurprising environmental news, a new report suggests that the extremely controversial Belo Monte dam is to blame for the death of thousands of baby turtles. The site continues to face major opposition not only from environmental groups, but also from indigenous peoples whose livelihoods are threatened, and a group of indigenous protesters has even occupied the construction site in the past week, bringing construction to a halt.

Meanwhile, another group of indigenous protesters in Brazil set fire to a police station in the northern state of Pará after a judge ordered the release of four men suspected of murdering an indigenous man. The violence may not have just been a random act, however, as Pará is one of the areas where wealthy landowners continue to employ people to kill indigenous people who try to protect their lands from being taken over by ranchers; indeed, many people have died in these struggles over the past decade, including high-profile cases like that of American citizen Dorothy Stang, and land activists continue to face threats and even murder even while their killers rarely face trial.

About Colin M. Snider

I have a Ph.D. in history, specializing in Latin American History and Comparative Indigenous History. My dissertation focused on Brazil. Beyond Latin America generally, I'm particularly interested in class identities, military politics, human rights, labor, education, music, and nation. I can be found on Twitter at @ColinMSnider.
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