Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, elected in October of 2018, has promised to make the country safer, boost the economy after several years of crisis and put an end to corruption in politics. While much of the country celebrated the results, many also feared that the election of Bolsonaro signaled a fundamental shift for democracy in Brazil as he is known for ultra-conservative policies and deeply offensive rhetoric. Bolsonaro already has launched an all-out attack on environmental protections, eliminating the post of secretary on climate change and stripping the environment ministry of authority. According to Bolsonaro environmental protection in the Amazon slows economic development and he has promised that “not one more centimeter” of land will be allocated to indigenous tribes. These policies will dramatically affect those living in the Amazon who were already struggling to save the region from loggers, drug lords, and corrupt police and politicians.
Join us for a conversation with journalist Chris Feliciano Arnold to discuss the rise of Bolsonaro, the current state of Brazilian politics, and what the future of Brazil might look like for the indigenous communities living along the Amazon. Arnold is also the author of the book The Third Bank of the River, which traces the history of the Amazon from the arrival of the first Spanish settlers to the drones that are now mapping unexplored parts of the forest. The book looks at the push to develop the Amazon rainforest and its cost in human lives, in the complex political and social context of Brazil.
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