Genocide: Goldminers “Massacre” Uncontacted Amazon Indians

Evidence of an attack? Burnt communal houses of uncontacted Indians, seen in December 2016, could be signs of another massacre in the Uncontacted Frontier.
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By Staff of Survival International – Public prosecutors in Brazil have opened an investigation after reports that illegal goldminers in a remote Amazon river have massacred “more than ten” members of an uncontacted tribe. If confirmed, this means up to a fifth of the entire tribe have been wiped out. Two goldminers have been arrested. The killings allegedly took place last month along the River Jandiatuba in western Brazil, but the news only emerged after the goldminers started boasting about the killings, and showing off “trophies” in the nearest town. Agents from Brazil’s indigenous affairs agency, FUNAI, confirmed details of the attack to Survival International. Women and children are believed to be among the dead. FUNAI and the public prosecutor’s office are currently investigating. The area is known as the Uncontacted Frontier, as it contains more uncontacted tribes than anywhere else on Earth. Several government teams who had been protecting uncontacted indigenous territories have recently had their funding slashed by the Brazilian government, and have had to close down.

The World Protests As Amazon Forests Are Opened To Mining

This polluted lake is what remains of the open mine pit of Serra Pelada (‘Naked Mountain’), hand-excavated by tens of thousands of miners in the Amazon Basin. REUTERS/Paulo Santos

By Beatriz Garcia for The Conversation – The Amazon, often described as the “lungs of the Earth”, is the largest rainforest in the world. Its extraordinary biodiversity and sheer scale has made it a globally significant resource in the fight against climate change. But last week the Brazilian president Michel Temer removed the protected status of the National Reserve of Copper and Associates, a national reserve larger than Denmark. The reserve, known as “Renca”, covers 46,000 square kilometres and is thought to contain huge amounts of copper, as well as gold, iron ore and other minerals. Roughly 30% of Renca will now be open to mining exploration. Renca also includes indigenous reserves inhabited by various ethnic communities living in relative isolation. The decision, which has been denounced by conservation groups and governments around the world, comes as the unpopular Temer struggles with a crushing political and economic crisis that has seen unemployment rise above 12%

Descendants Of Freed Slaves Fight For Their Land In The Amazon

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By Nick Barrickman and Alex González for WSWS – Local residents inform the International Amazon Workers Voice that Amazon is attempting to seize 50 acres of land owned by elderly working class descendants of slaves in Northern Virginia, pave over the residents’ homes, and build power lines. The soil that Amazon plans to cover with asphalt contains the sweat of slaves and the blood of Civil War soldiers. The residents’ ancestors, who worked the land as slaves, took possession of these plots after being freed by the Emancipation Proclamation and liberated by the Union Army during the American Civil War. American capitalism has come full-circle: the government is stealing land from the descendants of slaves and giving it to one of the world’s most powerful corporations. A representative of a community group called the Alliance to Save Carver Road (ASCR) told the IAWV, “The homeowners have been there for generations. Many of the properties were purchased by freed slaves. After emancipation, the slaves that worked that area were allowed to purchase property. A number of the property owners are descendants of those freed slaves.” Last month, Amazon subsidiary VAData, working in collusion with local government agencies and utility company Dominion Virginia Power, announced plans to construct 230,000 volt power lines running through the semi-rural community of Carver Road just outside of Gainesville, in order to power nearby internet data centers.

Amazon CEO Does Damage Becoming World's Richest Person

From Working at Amazon SUCKS?! - Tech Tuesday, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_TC4nEBYuI

By Adam Johnson for FAIR. The three most prominent US newspapers haven’t run a critical investigative piece on Jeff Bezos’ company Amazon in almost two years, a FAIR survey finds. The last major investigative piece on Amazon in the three most prestigious newspapers appeared almost two years ago (New York Times, 8/15/15). The last major investigative piece on Amazon in the three most prestigious newspapers appeared almost two years ago (New York Times, 8/15/15). A review of 190 articles from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Bezos-owned Washington Post over the past year paints a picture of almost uniformly uncritical–ofttimes boosterish–coverage. None of the articles were investigative exposes, 6 percent leaned negative, 54 percent were straight reporting or neutral in tone, and 40 percent were positive, mostly with a fawning or even press release–like tone.

The Destructive Power Trips Of Amazon’s Boss

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By Ralph Nader for The Nader Page – For his smallish stature, Amazon Boss Jeff Bezos has a booming, uproarious laugh. Unleashed during workdays, its sonic burst startles people, given it comes from as harsh and driven a taskmaster as exists on the stage of corporate giantism. Is Bezos’s outward giddiness a worrisome reflection of what Bezos is feeling on the inside? Is he laughing at all of us? Is Bezos laughing at the tax collectors, having avoided paying most states’ sales taxes for years on all the billions of books he sold online, thereby giving him an immediate 6 to 9 percent price advantage over brick-and-mortar bookstores, that also paid property taxes to support local schools and public facilities? That, and being an early online bookseller, gave Bezos his crucial foothold, along with other forms of tax avoidance that big companies utilize. Is Bezos laughing at the bureaucratic labor unions, that somehow can’t get a new handle on organizing the tens of thousands of exploited blue collar workers crying for help in Amazon warehouses and other stress-driven installations? With a net-worth over $80 billion, why should he worry?

Amazon Is Not What It Seems, Killer Cop Acquitted, DEA Disaster & More

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By Lee Camp for Redacted Tonight. In this episode of Redacted Tonight, host Lee Camp tears Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos a new one. He explains the true “cost of convenience” when it comes to the online retailer behemoth. Amazon is quickly taking over our lives and homes. It may sound extreme, but now with their $14 billion purchase of Whole Foods, Amazon is leaping into the “IRL” sphere. The plan is most likely to induce more people to pay to become Prime members by offering deals on food. Amazon controls a huge amount of online sales traffic and now they’re getting into the food sphere, combine that with the reality that they have a $600 million contract with the CIA and that Bezos owns the Washington Post, and it’s certainly time to push back and try to divest. Next, Lee presents a new segment called, “What You Won’t Hear.” He delves into stories the mainstream media may cover, but definitely won’t give you the full story. He talks about the police officer’s acquittal in the Philando Castile murder trial, as well as a massive carbon-sucking machine in Switzerland. In the second half of the show, correspondent John F. O’Donnell joins Lee at the desk to break down a new report by the NGO, Save the Children, entitled, “The End of Childhood Index.” The international child’s rights organization did a comparative analysis of 172 countries to determine the best and worst countries to be a child. Where the US ranks will certainly surprise you. Finally, correspondent Naomi Karavani files a scathing report about the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Naomi delves into a botched drug operation the DEA embarked upon in Mexico. They recklessly shared confidential information that led directly to a massacre. A Propublica report, which largely went under the radar, spotlights the DEA’s role. Naomi also highlights an incident with the DEA in Honduras where they misled congress and the DOJ about fatal shootings.

Regulators Should Block Amazon’s Acquisition Of Whole Foods

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By Nick Stumo-Langer for ILSR – In response to Amazon’s announced acquisition of Whole Foods, Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) and co-author of Amazon’s Stranglehold, made the following statement: “Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods raises significant anti-competitive issues that should be deeply concerning to federal antitrust regulators and the public. This deal would allow Amazon to leverage Whole Foods’ 444 U.S. stores in ways that would dramatically amplify Amazon’s online market power, by integrating these locations into its vast logistics and delivery network. And it would give Amazon, which already sells more clothing, books, toys, and consumer electronics than any other retailer, a substantial share of an even bigger consumer goods category, groceries. Regulators should block this acquisition.” ILSR’s recent report Amazon’s Stranglehold traced Amazon’s rapidly expanding reach and its impacts.

Battle For The Amazon: Tapajós Basin Threatened By Massive Development

The Tapajós River, Brazil. More than 40 dams would turn this free flowing river and its tributaries into a vast industrial waterway threatening the Tapajós Basin's ecosystems, wildlife, people and even the regional and global climate. (Photo: International Rivers on Flickr, licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] license)

By Sue Branford and Maurício Torres for Mongabay – The Tapajós River Basin lies at the heart of the Amazon, and also at the heart of an exploding controversy: whether to build more than 40 large dams, a railway, roads, canals and port complexes, turning the Basin into a vast industrialized commodities export corridor; or to curb this development impulse and conserve one of the most biologically and culturally rich regions on the planet. Those struggling to shape the Basin’s fate hold conflicting opinions, but because the Tapajós is an isolated region, few of these views get aired in the media. Journalist Sue Branford and social scientist Mauricio Torres travelled there recently for Mongabay, and over coming weeks hope to shed some light on the heated debate that will shape the future of the Amazon.

Oil Production Begins At Controversial Amazon Drilling Project

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By Adam Zuckerman and Kevin Koenig for Amazon Watch – Tomorrow, Ecuadorian state oil company Petroamazonas will produce the first barrel of commercial crude from the ITT (Ishpingo, Tambococha, Tiputini) fields that lie beneath Yasuní National Park, an area that some scientists have called the most biodiverse rainforest on Earth. Much of the oil will likely be processed in California, which refined 60% of Ecuador’s oil exports in 2015.

5 Things Local Officials Need To Know About Amazon

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By Stacy Mitchell for ILSR – Amazon is on a building spree, and many local officials are eager to bring one of its giant fulfillment centers to their own backyard. They are so eager, in fact, that some have resorted to offering the company lavish tax breaks and other public assistance. Between 2012 and 2014, Amazon picked up $431 million in local tax incentives to finance its warehouse expansion. Yet, as our analysis shows, Amazon fulfillment centers impose so many hidden costs on local economies that cities ought to reconsider welcoming them at all, much less greasing the way with public funds.

Amazon Workers Strike For Better Pay & Working Conditions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AS1IgY2qQSI

By Cora Lewis in Buzz Feed – Staff at a major Los Angeles warehouse serving Amazon and other big retailers went on strike Tuesday, protesting unpaid wages and overtime, dangerous conditions, a lack of breaks and water during hot summer months, and retaliation by management against their organizing efforts. The strike continued on Wednesday. The stoppage is the latest tactic in a campaign to improve conditions at the distribution center at the Port of Los Angeles, according to Sheheryar Kaoosji, director of the Warehouse Worker Resource Center. Workers and advocates have previously filed an Unfair Labor Practice complaint, a class-action lawsuit, and an Occupational Safety and Health complaint, the last of which triggered an ongoing investigation.

Amazonian Tribe Brings Struggle to International Stage

Amazonian tribe protests

By Christian Poirier, Amazon Watch & Brent Millikan, International Rivers. When Brazilian energy planners proposed to choke the Amazon’s Tapajós River and its tributaries with dozens of large hydroelectric dams, they underrated a formidable foe: the Munduruku people. The largest indigenous group in the Tapajós Basin, the Munduruku are proving to be sophisticated adversaries who are throwing a wrench in the dam industry’s plans. The tribe has frequently caught the Brazilian government off guard with their tactics. They have a flair for the theatrical – they staged a series of dramatic protests in Brasilia, including a “die-in” at the Ministry of Mines and Energy – and the practical. In January, they delivered a protocol to government officials demanding a culturally-appropriate process of free, prior and informed consultation and consent (FPIC). While enshrined in Brazil’s constitution and integral to ILO Convention 169, the indigenous right to FPIC has been systematically ignored in Brazil.

China: Don’t Drill The Amazon!

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By Jennifer Baker in Revolution News – Support the Sápara and protect the Amazon. Recently indigenous leaders from the Ecuadorian Amazon urged Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang to cancel plans for Chinese state oil company Andes Petroleum to drill for oil in their territory. Li has promised to use an “iron fist” to punish companies that destroy the environment. Ask him to live up to his promise and to cancel China’s plans to drill the Amazon. Controversial Chinese investment in Ecuador and oil-backed loans are creating an unprecedented new oil boom in the country’s Amazon region. The region is home to ten different indigenous nationalities and some of the world’s most pristine and biodiverse forest. Chinese state-owned oil company Andes Petroleum is hoping to operate in the rainforest homes of the Sápara and the Kichwa of Sarayaku.

Peru's Mega-Dam Projects Threaten Amazon River Ecosystem Collapse

'The Marañón River in Peru where the government is proposing more than 20 dams on the main trunk.'. Photo credit: David Hill

Peru is planning a series of huge hydroelectric dams on the 1,700-kilometer (1,056-mile) Marañón River, which begins in the Peruvian Andes and is the main source of the Amazon River. Critics say the mega-dam projects could destroy the currently free-flowing Marañón, resulting in what Peruvian engineer Jose Serra Vega calls its “biological death.” In 2011, Peru passed a law declaring the construction of 20 dams on the main trunk of the Marañón to be in the “national interest” and that the projects will launch the country’s “long-term National Energy Revolution.” But many Peruvians following the issue believe the planned dams are less about meeting “national demand” for electricity as the law reads, and more about supplying mining companies, and exporting to neighboring countries.

The Fight For Justice For Ecuador’s Amazon Continues

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Amazonian residents cite various peer-reviewed health evaluations demonstrating significantly higher rates of cancer, miscarriages, birth defects, and skin diseases, among a multitude of other health problems for those living in the region as evidence of them being poisoned. Those studies show that the health problems are even more acute for those living nearby the 300 or so oil well sites of the former Texaco concession of which PetroEcuador also had a hand in. For local residents who have witnessed the growth of the Amazonian oil industry over the last half-century, they are confident of it being the arrival of Texaco that marks the gradual destruction of their once clean land and water resources. The fact that Texaco ominously renamed the burgeoning oil frontier town of its Amazonian heyday to Sour Lake (Lago Agrio in Spanish) as homage to its corporate birthplace in Texas has not helped to alter that widely held view.