The destruction of the Amazon rainforest has a severe impact on the indigenous people. Since 1970, 20% of the Brazilian Amazon has been deforested. Logging and forest fires are threatening a further 20%. Scientists say that at 40% deforestation, we will reach the point of no return. “They used to kill us with guns, now they kill us with deforestation and dams.” Indigenous people are trying to defend themselves against the destruction of their home.

Forests are illegally harvested and sold

Forests are destroyed only because of greed. People crave money and so do not hesitate to destroy natural resources that are nowhere else in the world. Today’s Brazil looks completely different than it did several decades ago. Land the size of France is now farmed here. The land was occupied by farmers who burn the forests and resell it with counterfeit leaves. The military dictatorship (1964-1985) encouraged them to settle on state-owned land, but the farmers never became legal owners. This land grab, known as “grilagem” in Portuguese, has led to uncontrolled forest clearing and fierce conflicts. See below a document from DW Documentary, which has been filmed since 2014 about 2020. It shows that occupying a forest in the Amazon rainforest works like an organized crime. Indigenous peoples are trying to defend the last of the Earth’s lungs as best they can.