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Historia Publication logo December 22, 2020

Scorched Earth: The Illness and the Javari Valley (Portuguese)

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Pasture areas derived from illegal deforestation near the Menkragnoti Indigenous Land in Pará. Image by Marcio Isensee/Shutterstock. Brazil, date unknown.
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The COVID-19 pandemic is the latest chapter in a history of looting as experienced in Amazonian...

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Illustration by Gustavo Caboco.
Illustration by Gustavo Caboco.

In the extreme west of the Amazon, on the border with Peru, lies an Indigenous Land the size of Santa Catarina. There, in the Javari Valley, indigenous populations live in voluntary isolation. The novel coranavirus has reached the region, severely impacting several villages. Reporter Leandro Barbosa reports on the fear that the pathogen, through the action of loggers or missionaries, may also reach the isolated population, with devastating effects.

In this photo essay for "Scorched Earth," Avener Prado photographed the podcast subjects from a distance. They are pictures of screens, in which the characters appear a little blurred, half-pixelized. In addition to respecting the protocols of social distancing, the idea is to bring a portrait of the images that are formed by making connection with the most diverse corners of the country.

Higson Kanamari, a leader of the Kanamari indigenous people of the Javari Valley. Image by Avener Prado. Brasil, 2020.
Higson Kanamari, a leader of the Kanamari indigenous people of the Javari Valley. Image by Avener Prado. Brasil, 2020.
Beatriz Matos, anthropology professor at the Federal University of Pará (UFPA). Image by Avener Prado. Brasil, 2020.
Beatriz Matos, anthropology professor at the Federal University of Pará (UFPA). Image by Avener Prado. Brasil, 2020.
Beatriz Matos, anthropology professor at the Federal University of Pará (UFPA). Image by Avener Prado. Brasil, 2020.
Beatriz Matos, anthropology professor at the Federal University of Pará (UFPA). Image by Avener Prado. Brasil, 2020.

Beatriz Matos, anthropology professor at the Federal University of Pará (UFPA). Image by Avener Prado. Brasil, 2020.

Additional Sources Quoted in the Episode

  • Missões Magazine
  • Amazônia Real

Team

This episode was produced by Leandro Barbosa with a script by Clarissa Levy. "Scorched Earth" is a project from Le Monde Diplomatique Brasil, with the support of the Rainforest Journalism Fund in partnership with the Pulitzer Center. A production of Fábio Zuker, with Trovão Mídia. The sound direction is by Ricardo Monteiro. The sound editing is by Tomás Xavier. The soundtrack is by studio ó. The podcast artwork is by indigenous artist Gustavo Caboco. Photos by Avener Prado.


COVID-19 Update: The connection between local and global issues–the Pulitzer Center's long standing mantra–has, sadly, never been more evident. We are uniquely positioned to serve the journalists, news media organizations, schools, and universities we partner with by continuing to advance our core mission: enabling great journalism and education about underreported and systemic issues that resonate now–and continue to have relevance in times ahead. We believe that this is a moment for decisive action. Learn more about the steps we are taking.