Tapajós: The Next Big Thing in the fight for the Amazon

According to one report, the Tapajós River valley is, in the whole world, the region with the greatest mineral reserves, almost all of them unexploited.

To get their hands on these reserves, mining companies need two things: a change in the legislation so that they can mine in indigenous lands – something that it is being fast-tracked through Congress thanks to a bill presented in June 2013 (at the same time that a wave of protests about the government’s failure to listen to ordinary people was sweeping through the country); and an abundant supply of cheap energy.

Data published on the website of ANEEL (Agência Nacional de Energia Elétrica/National Agency for Electric Energy), the government body that regulates the energy sector, shows that the government has toyed with the idea of building, on the Tapajós–Teles Pires River basin alone, 44 large or medium-sized hydroelectric power stations and 89 smaller ones – a total of 133 dams.

This is why apart from reporting about the current conflicts, Pública will review the major changes that happened in the past two years as well as document how are local communities organizing themselves to have their voices heard.

Pública was founded in March 2011 by a team of women reporters in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is the first center for investigative journalism in Brazil. Pública promotes and produces high quality, non-partisan investigative journalism in order to strengthen Brazilian democracy. Publica’s mission is to impact the Brazilian media by promoting its core values: journalism without ideological interference, focus on the public interest, defense of transparency and ethics by the public administration, promotion of the democratic debate about relevant issues, and the relentless defense of human rights. We are funded through grants of foundations such as Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and through crowdfunding campaigns.

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