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Brazilian Soy Business Demands Paved Road Straight Through Amazon Forest

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 11:39 AM
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Brazilian Soy Business Demands Paved Road Straight Through Amazon Forest
We began the week-long journey in Cuiaba, which is the capital of Brazil's major soybean state, Mato Grosso.

"There were five of us, squeezed into a 4x4. For the first 300 miles, the road ran through vast fields, which stretched away to the horizon, with not a tree in sight. Once this was all rainforest, but now it is all farming land, mostly soybeans.

It is the soy farmers who want the road paved, so they can export more cheaply, going straight up the road to the River Amazon, and then over the Atlantic to Europe and beyond.

The second day, we were driving through hills. The tarmac and the huge fields had ended. Now it was a dirt road, which became a sea of mud when it rained. The forest here had been cleared more recently. Humped white cattle were grazing among charred stumps of trees.


The hotel dining room was full of businessmen from the south. You could tell from their accents, and their complexions: ruddy, fair-skinned. They were here to buy land, now that the road was going to be paved. The next day we visited the offices of the federal environment agency, Ibama. The staff, young and keen, are trying to control the illegal logging of the rainforest, stopping lorries, embargoing logging areas and fining the loggers. It is a gigantic task, and it is dangerous too. The loggers, used to doing as they like, are angry at this interference. A few days earlier they had delivered a letter, threatening "imminent conflict". On the road we had heard about people who had been murdered for speaking out about the illegal logging and land-grabbing that is going on in the region."


Hmm, I wonder if they'll get it paved . . .
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:43 PM
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1. I wonder if there is a Brazilian version of Earth First?
I doubt that this is greatly improving the lot of the Brazilian people while it squanders their national heritage and resources. Just because we were stupid and greedy doesn't make it right.
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