The ‘agricultural mafia’ taking over Brazil’s Amazon rainforest

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promoted by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and local authorities who want to see the development of agribusiness, an “agricultural mafia” is taking over the Amazon rainforest. In the Brazilian state of Rondonia, organised groups set up camps for small farmers – sometimes the size of a city – within national forest parks that are supposed to be protected by law, or on land stolen from native peoples. Our reporters investigated this “agricultural mafia”, from the small farmer who is promised a patch of land and a future, to the politicians pulling the strings.

Although both the local government and Bolsonaro’s administration claim to be trying to prevent the occurrence, new camps for farmers keep appearing in the Amazon.

Meanwhile, the destruction of vegetation is speeding up. Between January and August of this year, the Brazilian Amazon lost 7,715 km² of forest – the equivalent of a million football pitches. It’s the worst level of deforestation recorded over this period in the past decade.

FRANCE 24’s Fanny Lothaire, Lena Lopes and Tim Vickery bring us this special report.

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