/Tag: Brazil


1 02, 2023

Joenia Wapichana: ‘I Want To See The Yanomami And Raposa Serra Do Sol Territories Free Of Invasions’

2023-07-02T00:01:56-04:00Tags: |

Karla Mendes interviews Joenia Wapichana, Brazil’s first Indigenous woman lawyer and President of Brazil’s national Indigenous affairs agency, Funai. Wapichana discusses the thousands of illegal gold mines that have caused a public health emergency in Yanomami Territory, resulting in the deaths of 570 children who suffered from malnutrition and other serious illnesses. Wapichana contends that ensuring public health will require not only the removal of illegal mining, but also a lasting security presence within the area. She explains the need for studies that can identify the lasting impact of mining industries once they have been removed. When asked about ways to decrease prejudice towards Indigenous communities, Wapichana noted the importance of proper terminology and affirming the rights of Indigenous peoples. In the future, Wapichana hopes to be reelected to Congress and to see increased Indigenous representation in government. Photo Credit: Katie Mähler via Apib Comunicação

27 06, 2022

Redefining Gender In The Amazon

2023-02-01T23:05:45-05:00Tags: |

This article shares the story of Uýra Sodoma, the spirit of Indigenous trans nonbinary artist and biologist Emerson Pontes (she/they). Uýra speaks through Pontes in order to highlight the importance of protecting the Brazilian Amazon. A new documentary, Uýra: The Rising Forest, shows Emerson’s journey driving collective and educational experiences that engage communities in environmental justice activism. She has faced challenges not only from the mass deforestation of the Amazon, but also from Brazil’s homophobic and transphobic government policies. However, they have continued to use performances to bridge the movements for conservation and LGBTQ+ rights. They emphasize that the concept of the gender binary is a concept imposed by colonizers, using drag to connect with nature and the queer community. Photo Credit: Uýra: The Rising Forest    

13 01, 2022

An Amazon Defender Stands Up for Her Land and Her People

2023-04-16T15:40:20-04:00Tags: |

Juma Xipaia, an Amazon Indigenous leader, fights to protect her community and their way of life against illegal extractive activities and development projects, such as the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam on the Xingu River. At the age of 13, Xipaia began fighting to protect her community when she saw the destruction and illness caused by similar projects in neighboring communities. Xiapaia is the Chief of her community; she faces corruption among fellow Indigenous leaders and death threats as a result of her work, all while studying to become a physician. Xiapaia stresses the importance and need for greater involvement of Indigenous Peoples at conferences such as the UN Climate Talks, where international climate negotiations occur. Photo credit: Instituto Juma

7 01, 2022

My People Have Lived In The Amazon For 6,000 Years: You Need To Listen To Us

2023-04-16T15:42:51-04:00Tags: |

Since President Jair Bolsonaro introduced policies that increased violence against Indigenous Peoples and the Amazon, Txai Suruí and her family, friends, and community have faced threats, harassment, bullying and death for protecting their territories. Suruí’s father, Chief Almir Suruí, together with Chief Raoni Metuktire of the Kayapo people, formally requested the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigate events in the Brazilian Amazon, demanding perpetrators be held accountable for their crimes against humanity. Suruí is also calling on the international community and the ICC to recognize the crime of ecocide. Suruí stresses she was raised to listen to the Earth and to live in harmony with the planet. She urges others to do the same — there is no time to waste. Photo credit: Gabriel Uchida

24 12, 2021

Indigenous Women Fighting For Their Land And The Survival Of The Amazon

2023-04-16T15:31:20-04:00Tags: |

Indigenous women like O-é Kaiapó Paiakan, Alessandra Korap, and Tejubi Uru eu Wau Wau are taking on leadership roles in response to the escalating threats against their land, rights, and the Amazon. The Jair Bolsonaro administration has increased industrial development and intensified the exploitation of resources in Indigenous territories. In response, Indigenous women have stepped up to protect their communities. Paiakan, for instance, became chief after her father passed away from COVID-19 in 2020. Korap has raised her voice at male-dominated tribal meetings, protests, and public meetings outside her village, despite the machismo and threats she withstands for doing so. Tejubi’s uncle was a long-time environmental defender and was among the 20 defenders killed in Brazil in 2020. She and her tribe believe the extractive industry is responsible. Tejubi has joined protests against Bolsonaro’s latest attack against Indigenous rights. Indigenous women like these three face machismo and violence in their efforts, but continue to defend their land and the Amazon. Photo credit: Lynsey Addario

9 04, 2021

‘What’s At Stake Is The Life Of Every Being’: Saving The Brazilian Cerrado

2021-04-09T13:14:50-04:00Tags: |

Indigenous communities in the Cerrado region of Brazil are organizing to raise awareness of the environmental impacts of agribusiness and deforestation on their native lands. The region is even richer in biodiversity than the Amazon, playing a critical role in global carbon sequestration. Diana Aguiar, political advisor to the National Campaign in Defense of the Cerrado, describes the devastation that has been caused in recent decades due to agribusiness and cattle ranching, compromising the headwaters of major rivers and the livelihoods of Indigenous communities. Local communities and partner NGOs are working to bring greater attention to the importance of this vast savanna and to increase pressure to protect the region as a dedicated world heritage site.  Photo Credit: Elvis Marques / CPT Nacional

3 05, 2020

Fierce Life: Maria do Socorro Silva

2023-01-25T11:40:52-05:00Tags: |

Maria do Socorro Silva is a descendant of enslaved Africans, and an Indigenous woman of the Amazon forest, in the region of Barcarena. Like her ancestors, Maria has resisted and rebelled against colonial, capitalist forces, who see the land and women’s bodies as property for the taking. Norst Hyrdo is a Norwegian company that extracts raw materials from Barcarena. High levels of aluminum, iron, copper, arsenic, mercury and lead have been found in the Murucupi River in Barcarena, contaminating the river that Indigenous communities depend on, leading to illness and death. Maria, herself fighting cancer caused by the contamination, also fights by sharing her story to young climate activists, explaining to them the connection between the health of Indigenous Peoples to the health of the environment. Like her ancestors, Maria resists and fights for the next generation. Photo credit: Liliana Merizalde/Atmos

28 04, 2019

The Amazon is a Woman

2023-01-25T12:23:37-05:00Tags: |

In Brazil, Indigenous women are fighting against the exploitation of the Amazon rainforest in more ways than one. To protect the Amazon, women are on the frontlines of marches, publicly sharing their stories, leading public meetings, physically preventing access to the forest, relearning their language and culture, teaching children how to resist and act collectively, filing lawsuits against foreign companies exploiting the Amazon, and cultivating alliances with young European activists to jointly protect the Amazon. This does not go without risk. These women withstand threats to and attempts on their lives. These Amazonian women persist because the survival of the Earth and future generations depend upon it. Photo credit: Liliana Merizalde/Atmos

13 04, 2018

Women In Brasil Defending Our Sacred Waters – Stories From The Alternative World Water Forum (FAMA)

2020-04-24T16:03:01-04:00Tags: |

At the Alternate World Water Forum (FAMA), women led the charge in speaking out against the governments, NGOs and multinational corporations that privatize and exploit everyone’s water. Alessandra Munduruku, an Indigenous warrior of the Amazonian Munduruku tribe, uplifted her community’s fight against dangerous extraction and contamination on the Tapajós River. Andreia Neiva, a Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens (MAB) militant, urged others to follow her community’s lead in battling large farming companies who are stealing and polluting water sources. In her city, Correntina, in the Brazilian state of Bahia, people are rising up against repression to occupy the industrial farms, and she hopes to see others join. Grassroots leaders from around the world shared their stories, emphasizing that just as all water is connected, these struggles are interdependent.   Photo Credit: Idle No More SFBay Blog

13 04, 2018

Women In Brasil Defending Our Sacred Waters- Stories From The Alternative World Water Forum (FAMA)

2018-08-02T15:16:41-04:00Tags: |

The author speaks about their experiences attending and speaking at the 2018 World Water Forum (FAMA) in Brazil. An event largely sponsored by Nestle and Coca-Cola, corporations pushing to privatize and control public water resources. Fearless indigenous women and activists used the event as platform to call-out and share their powerful stories of resistance. Their message to the world: water cannot be treated as a privately owned commodity; water is a human right and a common good of and for the people.  Photo Credit: Guilherme Cavalli/Cimi

28 03, 2018

Women Occupied Coca-Cola & Nestlé Factories

2018-07-13T15:50:14-04:00Tags: |

Over 600 Brazilian women activists are protesting the privatization of water by corporate entities and the federal government by occupying local Coca-Cola and Nestlé factories. As part of the Rural Landless Movement (MST), these women hope that disrupting operations will convey that “water is a right, not a claim.” Photo credit: TeleSUR English

5 03, 2018

More Than One Thousand Women Take Over Suzano Pulp And Paper Mill To Protest Genetically Engineered Trees And Eucalyptus Plantations

2018-07-13T17:01:17-04:00Tags: |

On March 5, 2018, over one thousand women from the Rural Landless Workers Movement (MST) took a stand against the creation and sale of genetically engineered (GE) trees from industrial eucalyptus plantations. Motivated by the negative impacts these plantations have on water – leading to the depletion of fresh water and the contamination of critical water reserves - these women strongly oppose the Brazilian government’s 2015 legalization of these plantations. Citing the precautionary recommendations given by the UN Convention on Biodiversity in 2008, the women of the MST and other social movements in Brazil stand firm on their stance to do everything in their power to expel GE trees from being planted on a large-scale in Brazil. Photo Credit: MST Communication

17 08, 2017

Photo Essay: Inside The Munduruku Occupation Of Sao Manoel Dam

2017-08-26T12:48:25-04:00Tags: |

Munduruku women warriors led 200 representatives of their Indigenous nation to occupy the main work camp of the Sao Manoel hydroelectric dam, under construction on the Teles Pires River in the Brazilian Amazon. This occupation paralyzed the project as the Munduruku people demanded a complete stop to the project, their right to be consulted and for the respect of their culture, spirituality and ecosystems. This beautiful, gripping photo essay of the occupation captures the powerful women warriors of Munduruku defiantly leading their community to protect the sacred. Photo credit: Caio Mota/Centro Popular do Audiovisual/Forum Teles Pires.

18 07, 2017

Indigenous Groups In Brazil Occupy Power Plant For Cultural Survival

2017-09-22T18:30:31-04:00Tags: |

Roughly 200 members of the Munduruku, an Indigenous ethnic group in Brazil, occupied the construction site of Sao Manoel Hydroelectric Power Plant, with one of their main grievances being that the company hold consultations with the group before construction resumes. Maria Leusa Kabaiwun Munduruku, a community leader, explains that the company had planned to build on sacred lands, in addition to violating human and environmental rights. Photo credit: Reuters

15 06, 2017

This Is My Land: The Indigenous Women Chiefs Protecting The Amazon

2017-10-14T16:34:20-04:00Tags: |

The Kayapo tribe in Brazil is shifting traditional gender roles with the emergence of three new female chiefs across its many communities within the Amazon rainforest. Tuire, one of the first female chiefs of the Kapran-krere village, is using her position to unite the fractured communities against outside threats. Recent legislation has reassigned land rights from the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon rainforest to the Ministry of Justice, suspected to allow for private interests to use the land for logging, mining, and cattle ranching. Tuire and other female chiefs are working to regain the rights to own and conserve their ancestral land. Photo credit: Pinar Yolacan

27 05, 2017

Remembering Jane Julia de Oliveira

2018-03-06T17:49:14-05:00Tags: |

AWID pay tribute to Jane Julia de Oliveira as part of their series that honours the memory of over 350 women human rights defenders from 80 different countries, highlighting these women in our collective memory so their struggle lives on. Jane Julia de Oliveira, from the Pará state of Brazil, was a land rights community leader, environmental defender, and president of Associaҫão dos Trabalhadores e Trabalhadoras Rurais (Association of Rural Workers). On the 24th May 2017 she was shot dead by local police, along with a group of people on the farm where she worked. Photo credit: AWID

15 05, 2017

Women And The Right To Land: A Case Study Of Brazil

2020-09-02T22:37:55-04:00Tags: |

Ana Célia, Edite Rodrigues, and Odete Mendes are among many rural Brazilian women who are struggling to make a living off of sugarcane farming but face unhealthy working conditions and unfair wages—conditions being exacerbated by land monopolies and market speculation. In the case of women like Maria Souza and Lusiane dos Santos, these stories have repeated themselves throughout multiple generations, with mothers and daughters being forced to work in the fields to sustain their families. Despite small farmers being most responsible for food production and job creation in the countryside, they occupy less agricultural land and receive less state support than large landowners and corporations, causing food insecurity and displacement in rural communities and subjecting women workers with limited alternatives to degrading conditions. That is why leaders like Carlita da Costa, president of the Cosmópolis Rural Workers Union, is fighting for labor rights by organizing rural women and focusing on structural changes to ensure secure markets for women farmers, public resources and social services, accessible education in the countryside, and basic rights to land and food. Photo credit: Feminist Alliance for Rights

1 05, 2017

Anne Lambert’s Fight To Protect Brazilian Rainforest Biodiversity

2017-10-31T21:54:50-04:00Tags: |

Anne Lambert, founding director of the International Conservation Fund of Canada, began her passionate work for the conservation of Brazil’s tropical rain forest after several trips to the country and her encounters with Brazil’s Kayapo people. In this compelling interview, Lambert explains how the severity of the loss of biodiversity in Brazil or any region in the world ultimately affects all nations on the Earth. Photo credit: Herald News/Anne Lambert

4 04, 2017

Pernambuco Movement Aims To Strengthen Women’s Land Rights In Brazil

2017-10-20T22:58:13-04:00Tags: |

In February 2017, Espaço Feminista—a leading women’s grassroots organization in Brazil—hosted a forum in Bonito, Pernambuco, aimed at re-centering the conversation of sustainable development and land rights policy discussions back to a local level. Over half of forum participants were from grassroots women constituencies representing Indigenous, rural workers, farmers, urban, and landless groups. Espaço Feminista partnered with international land rights organizations Land Alliance and Landesa to organize the event. Organizers suggested in this blog post, published by Landesa, that the forum was a positive move forward in efforts to guarantee equal land rights for women. Photo Credit: Landesa

22 03, 2017

What’s At “Steak?” The Need For A Just And Sustainable Global Food System

2017-09-13T10:57:48-04:00Tags: |

Ashlesha Khadse, a livestock researcher at the Global Forest Coalition, analyses the rotten meat scandal by JBS, Brazil's biggest beef exporter, comparing the case to other food frauds by corporations around the world. Ashlesha highlights movements that focus on sustainable food options and cites that activism to change state policies is a tool to fight the meat industry. Photo credit: Global Forest Coalition

1 12, 2016

“Our Forest Is Shedding Tears” — A Munduruku Woman Fights For Indigenous Rights

2017-11-01T03:32:14-04:00Tags: |

Vânia Alves is an Indigenous Munduruku leader from Brazil who is fighting the construction of mega-dams. With Greenpeace Brazil, Alves traveled from her home in the Amazon rainforest to Brasília to advocate to the Brazilian government for official recognition of the Sawré Muybu Indigenous Land on the Tapajós River. The proposed dams would flood portions of the rainforest and threaten Alves' people's way of life. Photo credit: Otávio Almeda/Greenpeace

26 05, 2016

Women in the semi-arid region of Brazil

2023-11-29T17:51:45-05:00Tags: , |

Despite facing historic discrimination and lack of opportunities, women in Bahia, Brazil are working to sustain their families and communities, and assert their independence and autonomy. Women have been taking on agricultural roles, waking up early to farm and tend to their crops. This allows them to provide for their families, contribute to the “formal” economy, and ensure food security for their communities. Many are able to sell their excess product in cities, generating more income and providing non-toxic nutrition options for people in rural areas. Women all throughout Brazil are now influencing public policy to alleviate the injustices that work against women, and provide support for them to thrive.  Photo credit: Fabiano Vidal 

14 05, 2016

Mariana Da Silva Morais Of Alto Alegre On Pollution Of The Environment

2018-02-14T22:22:13-05:00Tags: |

Mariana da Silva Morais, a sixteen-year-old student from the town of Alto Alegre in Brazil’s Maranhão, shares a self-produced video story about the severe living conditions her community has had to face over the past six years, demanding that public authorities take responsibility. Mariana describes how the Tapuio River is central to her community’s culture and livelihood, but is suffering from intense pollution from a nearby dump which has taken a toll on environmental and human health. Photo credit: Comundos

24 04, 2016

Indigenous Movement Stops Construction Of Brazilian Mega-Dam

2017-07-16T14:57:09-04:00Tags: |

Maria Leusa Kaba, who received a United Nations Equator Prize for her work protecting Indigenous rights, territories and rivers, played a key role in the movement which fought against the construction of the São Luiz de Tapajós hydroelectric dam. Construction of the mega-dam has been suspended and the lands of the Munduruku Indigenous people are now protected under the Brazilian constitution. Photo credit: Amazon Watch

8 03, 2016

Iconic Activist In Rio Watches As Her Home Is Bulldozed To Make Way For The Olympics

2019-01-21T19:51:23-05:00Tags: |

Like many other Rio de Janeiro residents, Maria Da Penha’s home was demolished by bulldozers to make room for the 2016 Summer Olympic headquarters. De Penha’s home was one of the last to go, and she has been fighting to preserve the history and culture of her community and to keep the government accountable. The government displaced most of the Vila Autodromo residents with cash buyouts or the promise of new apartments, and seized the land with eminent domain. Rather than just an economic concern, de Penha sees this as an attack on fundamental human rights, and says that all citizens need to be respected. Photo Credit: Will Carless

24 02, 2016

Artist Néle Azeved’s Temporary Ice Sculptures Portray Impermanence

2023-03-19T08:06:35-04:00Tags: |

In this article, journalist Carolyn Beeler features Brazilian artist Néle Azeved from São Paulo. Azeved is famous for her large sculptures that are typically displayed publicly in cities across the world, most of which are figures made from ice that slowly melts away. Although her original pieces weren’t intended to portray themes surrounding the climate crisis, they were meant to highlight the impermanence of life and the collective anonymity this brings to the human experience. She hopes that her art will inspire people to lead better lives as they reflect on the fragility and temporary nature of all things on this planet. Photo credit: Anne Bailey/The World.

14 02, 2016

‘Little Teresa’ Helps São Paulo Women Fight Drought And Male Domination — With Rain Barrels

2018-02-14T22:26:46-05:00Tags: |

Terezinha da Silva is an active leader in her São Paulo community, helping her neighbors weather the region’s severe two-year water crisis, while empowering women to advance sustainable solutions. Terezinha has developed a low-cost rainwater harvesting barrel that helps save money and keeps water on-hand for use during times of drought shutoffs. She believes passionately in the power of women claiming their dignity and achieving economic independence, especially in a male-dominated nation that has high levels of violence against women. She has also co-founded a women’s collective called Bread and Art and local nonprofit, Movimento de Defesa do Favelado, through which she is teaching women how to build and install over 50 rain barrels in the community and advancing a new project on vertical community gardens. The community organizing effort has built awareness of water resources, put power in the hands of the community, and placed a spotlight on the lack of government accountability. Photo credit: Anne Bailey

12 01, 2016

Sonia Guajajara: Reconnecting People With The Planet

2018-01-12T15:21:46-05:00Tags: |

Sonia Guajajara of the Association of Indigenous People of Brazil (AIPB) believes that to save the Earth, the rights and solutions of Indigenous peoples must be upheld. In this interview, she explains that destruction of environmental resources is having direct and devastating impacts on Indigenous culture, survival and livelihoods. She calls for Indigenous leadership at the forefront to fix these ills, drawing attention to Indigenous cultures’ prioritization of community well-being over individual well-being, and how this is a central reason why Indigenous people have emerged as the most adept environmental protectors on a global scale. Photo Credit: Alan Azevedo/Believe.Earth

2 07, 2015

Brazilian Fisherwomen Practice Aquaculture In The Face Of Industrialization

2017-07-12T20:52:33-04:00Tags: |

Fisherwomen in Brazil's marisqueiras communities, who have harvested mollusks, crabs and shellfish for generations, are standing strong in the face of threats to their livelihoods and health caused by nearby industrial expansion. Photo credit: Zoe Sullivan

7 12, 2014

Sônia Guajajara: A Voice For Biodiversity And Indigenous Rights In Brazil

2017-12-07T18:23:51-05:00Tags: |

Sônia Guajajara, Coordinator of the National Articulation of the Indigenous People of Brazil (APIB) is helping mobilize Indigenous communities across Brazil in defense of their rights, traditional lifeways and lands. As a voice for many thousands of constituents across the country, she has gone face-to-face with Brazils most powerful politicians to expose their hypocrisy, and demand real responses to the demands of the original peoples of the land. Corporate land grabs and violation of Indigenous land rights is a core area of Sônia’s advocacy with and for her people, alongside opposition to biodiversity protection, mining, and industrial farming, amongst other concerns. Photo credit: Vinícius Borba

30 09, 2014

Women’s Movement For Access To Babassu Oil

2018-07-31T12:10:32-04:00Tags: |

The award winning short film, Brazil’s Warrior Women, tells the story of women in North Eastern Brazil and their hard battle to maintain their communities’ way of life. The coconut of the Babassu Palm Tree has been their decades-long source of livelihood; however, in recent years they have faced intimidation and threats from large-scale farmers. Babassu women have created a grassroots movement and established the ‘Free Babassu Law’ in seven states. The law gives landless coconut gatherers rights to collect from palm groves. These inspiring women are now able to plan for the long-term, diversify their business and secure their future. Photo Credit: If Not Us Then Who?

1 04, 2014

Brazil’s Fisherwomen Blighted By Industrial Pollution

2017-11-01T23:59:50-04:00Tags: |

Edinilda de Ponto dos Carvalhos, a marisqueira fisherwoman from Brazil, is one of many women severely impacted by odorless chemical released by industrial development in the Pernambuco state of Brazil. The mud mixed in oil and waste causes itching, echoes Valeria Maria de Alcántara. Due to water pollution, these women have had to take other part time jobs to sustain their families. Photo credit: Felipe Ferreira/Getty Images

13 02, 2014

Voices Of The Xingu: Antonia Melo, Amazon Warrior

2017-07-12T21:00:34-04:00Tags: |

Mother of five Antonia Melo coordinates the Movimento Xingu Vivo Para Siempre, a grassroots mobilization to oppose the construction of the Belo Monte Dam in Brazil. If completed, the project would divert the flow of one of the Amazon River’s most important tributaries and devastate thousands of acres of rainforest, displacing 20,000 people and threatening the livelihoods of Brazil’s Indigenous peoples. Melo’s tireless work to coordinate the efforts of 150 different grassroots groups has made her indispensable to the resistance for over two decades. Photo credit: Amazon Watch

1 12, 2011

Feminist Perspectives Towards Transforming Economic Power—Agroecology: Exploring Opportunities For Women’s Empowerment Based On Experiences In Brazil

2017-10-19T22:58:15-04:00Tags: |

Tying together themes of economic, gender and land justice, this report by AWID and ActionAid Brazil discusses agroecological and sustainable farming practices as a tool for strengthening women’s empowerment and feminism amongst rural women of Brazil. The voices and experiences of women farm leaders of the Women and Agroecology Project are shared. Photo credit: AWID