Articles on Brazil

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A market area in Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital, crowded with people despite the coronavirus pandemic, May 12, 2020. hmed Salahuddin/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Megacity slums are incubators of disease – but coronavirus response isn’t helping the billion people who live in them

COVID-19 is spreading fast through not only the world's richest cities but also its poorest, ravaging slum areas where risk factors like overcrowding and poverty accelerate disease transmission.
Valley of the Dawn members celebrate ‘Day of the Indoctrinator’ at their temple complex in Brazil on May 1. This year’s event is postponed due to coronavirus. Márcia Alves

Brazilian mystics say they’re sent by aliens to ‘jump-start human evolution’ – but their vision for a more just society is not totally crazy

Brazil's Valley of the Dawn faith is often dismissed as a cult. But many of the group's fantastical rituals are a recognizable reaction to this harsh world of inequality, loneliness and pandemics.
Antonio, from the Yanomami village of Watoriki, photographed in November 1992. After contact with Brazilian society in the 1970s, more than half the Yanomami population died from infectious diseases. William Milliken

Covid-19, isolated indigenous peoples and the history of the Amazon

There are telling parallels between the current pandemic and those that decimated indigenous populations in the post-Columbian era in the Amazon.
An Amazon forest in Brazil’s Para state after deforestation and wildfires March 9, 2019. Unlike in some tropical forests, the animals of the Amazon are not adapted to survive fire. Gustavo Basso/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dung beetles help rainforests regrow – but extreme drought and wildfires in the Amazon are killing them off

A new study finds 70% of Amazonian dung beetles were killed by the severe fire and droughts of 2015 to 2016. By spreading seeds and poop, dung beetles fertilize forests and aid regrowth of vegetation.
Collecting firewood on the Waiapi indigenous reserve in Amapa state, Brazil, Oct. 13, 2017. A new bill could open Brazil’s Native lands to development. APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images

Indigenous people may be the Amazon’s last hope

Native Brazilians are among the Amazon's most effective defenders against logging and mining, because they're fighting not just for the environment but for their people's very survival.
The January 2019 collapse of a dam in Brumadinho, Brazil, sent mining tailings and mud over the landscape for miles, destroying this bridge and killing 300 people. Andre Penner/AP

Mine waste dams threaten the environment, even when they don’t fail

Dams built to hold enormous quantities of toxic mining waste have a long history of spills. Decisions in the Pacific Northwest threaten three free-flowing rivers there.
In this March 2018 photo, Venezuelan children wait for a meal at a migrant shelter set up in Boa Vista, Roraima state, Brazil. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Brazil’s humane refugee policies: Good ideas can travel north

If Brazil can find an efficient, pragmatic way to welcome, protect and integrate hundreds of thousands of forced migrants arriving at its border, so can more affluent states.
Venezuelan migrants look at the Panamericana Highway, in Urbina, Ecuador. More than 4.5 million Venezuelans have fled to neighbouring countries like Brazil, where they must navigate anti-migrant politicians. LGBTQ+ refugees in South America have only one dedicated centre — Casa Miga — to turn to. AP Photo/Edu Leon

More protection urgently needed for Venezuelan LGBTQ+ refugees in Brazil

The only centre for LGBTQ+ refugees in Latin America is overwhelmed by demand and is struggling to take in refugees from Venezuela.
In Rio de Janeiro, practitioners of the Afro-Brazilian faiths Candomble and Umbanda are increasingly under attack by evangelical crusaders. AP Photo/Leo Correa

Evangelical gangs in Rio de Janeiro wage ‘holy war’ on Afro-Brazilian faiths

As evangelicalism spreads across Brazil, some of Rio de Janeiro's most notorious gangs see minority religions as an affront to God. And they're using guns to spread their gospel.

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