A Journal for The Contemporary Church

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Voices That Challenge


In a number of online newspaper articles this year many journalists reported how politics in Brazil is now the latest threat to the rainforests of the Amazon region. It appears that those who serve the interests of large landowners and agribusiness in the National Council of Brazil were attempting to push through laws which would rescind protection laws for the region. Some of their attempts were bearing fruit and going uncontested in the unstable political world of Brazil. In September 2017 Jonathan Watts reported ‘campaigners welcome U-turn on Renca reserve but threat still exists as Brazil president has close ties to mining industry.

There has been a ten year period of semi-stability for the environmental activists in Brazil but things are changing fast. In the past three years enforcement of the environmental laws has been very lax. Despite this the indigenous peoples continue to work in and protect their regions in the face of political opposition. They understand that without the safeguards of the law, they, and the forests, will not survive. They were taught this fact through the work of Sr. Dorothy Stang, a Notre Dame Namur Sister. She lived and worked among them for forty years until her assassination in the State of Pará in February 2005.