Violence and corruption behind Amazon deforestation

A Human Rights Watch report on Amazon deforestation paints a picture of destruction, collusion, struggle, death and impunity

A newly published Human Rights Watch report has detailed the desperate situation in the Brazilian Amazon, highlighting the existence of logging “mafias” which organize to illegally extract wood from virgin forests. The 165-page study, entitled “Rainforest Mafias: How Violence and Impunity Fuel Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon,” was the result of two years of work and hundreds of interviews.

With international pressure increasing on Brazil after August’s spike in Amazon fires, this is perhaps the most damning indictment of the current situation in the country’s forests, coming courtesy of the international NGO.

How the mafia works

The “Ipê Mafia” mentioned by...

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