Law of the Jungle
Environmental Anarchy and the Tenharim People of Amazonia — Bilingual Edition
by Glenn Alan Cheney with a translation by Daniela Vidigal
Paperback,  210 pages, $12.95
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The Tenharim people are at ground zero in the many struggles for the future of Amazônia. The land they were allowed to keep under the Constitution of 1998 is a small part of the diminishing forest. They mean to preserve it. It has to last forever. 

People of money want to squeeze the fortune from the forest more quickly by cutting it down. General governmental absence leaves the region largely without law. The federal government itself has consistently declined to enforce various constitutional mandates. Massive dams are built with disregard for federal regulations and suspended permits. In the next decade, virtually every river east of the Madeira will be dammed into chains of lakes, opening Amazônia to soy and cattle farms. Meanwhile, São Paulo suffers a devastating drought believed to be caused by the deforestation far to the north.  

Events in Tenharim villages along the Trans-Amazon Highway illustrate the tensions and conflicts across Amazônia. After a chief died in an inexplicable motorcycle accident, three non-indigenous men driving past the reservation were murdered shortly after passing a Tenharim  toll booth.  Before the bodies were found, city residents burned two buildings and several vehicles owned by the federal Indian agency. A mob then torched Tenharim houses along the highway. The  Tenharim’s five most important leaders were arrested without evidence. Residents in towns nearby threaten to kill them if they are released. The residents are well armed, Tenharim are unarmed, and there is no law.

Bilingual

English and Portuguese

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