Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Brazil’s Rollbacks Jeopardize the Amazon’s Future

Brazilian President Michel Temer’s June 26 indictment on corruption allegations marked a new peak in the country’s political crisis. While the charges grabbed global headlines, they also overshadowed the environmental crisis unfolding in the Brazilian Amazon, where vast tracts of protected forests and indigenous territories are under growing threat.   Brazilian forests are being felled … Read more


Amid Growing Violence, Brazil Is Weakening Indigenous Rights

Brazil has some of the world’s strongest protections for indigenous rights – on paper. In reality, dozens of indigenous people are killed each year in conflicts over land and resources. Brazil is the most dangerous country in the world for environmental defenders. Even as this violence escalates, the current government is working to weaken these … Read more

Embrace of the Serpent

‘Embrace of the Serpent’ Is a Haunting Tale of Colombia’s Amazon

In Colombia’s first Oscar-nominated feature film, director Ciro Guerra offers both an ode to humanity’s capacity to hope and a eulogy for the loss of Latin America’s indigenous culture and knowledge. “Embrace of the Serpent” takes place during Latin America’s rubber boom in the early 20th century. The film’s message is delivered through Karamakate, a … Read more

heaven and hell in the same day

Brazil, Heaven and Hell in the Same Day

Last Thursday began beautifully, deep in the Brazilian Amazon, with a walk through a lush city park. I strolled among bougainvillea and castanha do Pará and samaúma trees. I saw a large red and blue macaw ambling down the sidewalk, and had just sat down to take a selfie with him when the little jerk … Read more

A Munduruku tribal leader. Photo: Maria Tama/Getty

A Batalha Pela Amazônia

Nosso barco deslizava calmamente sobre o rio Tapajós, quando, de forma inesperada, a monotonia hipnótica da Amazônia foi quebrada por pequenos corpos saltando na água. Um punhado de crianças da tribo local Munduruku havia se pendurado em árvores ao longo da margem do rio. Ao nos ver chegando, elas pularam na água escura, subiram a … Read more

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AQ Slideshow: El Bote at Cambalache: Life at a Landfill

“El Bote” is a fitting name for a large, now-defunct landfill in the community of Cambalache, along the Orinoco River in Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela. The Indigenous people known as the Warao rely on El Bote—often translated as “the can” or “throw away”—for their livelihood. The Warao once lived far up the Amazon River, but years … Read more


Gay Pride in the Amazon

Just days before the release last month of the United Nations’ first official report on gay rights the small Amazon town of Benjamin Constant also marked an important milestone—its first gay pride celebration. The Brazilian town, with over 30,000 people from multiple ethnic backgrounds, sits at the triple border with Colombia and Peru, overlooking the … Read more

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