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Illegal Gold Rush Squeezes Native People in Brazil’s Amazon

  • Report says Yanomami lands degradation rose 46% last year
  • Communities are protesting a bill to open mining on their land
A section of burnt forest stands in the Amazonian state of Para.
A section of burnt forest stands in the Amazonian state of Para.Source: Bloomberg
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An illegal gold rush in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest is fueling a surge in destruction of land occupied by South America’s largest group of native people who still live in relative isolation, the Yanomami. 

Lax supervision and outright support of informal mining by Brazilian authorities were behind a 46% jump in Yanomami land degradation last year in the form of deforestation and contamination of water and soil, according to a report released Monday.