Adam Isacson

Defense, security, borders, migration, and human rights in Latin America and the United States. May not reflect my employer’s consensus view.

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Some Brazil articles by Dom Phillips

Longtime Brazil-based reporter Dom Phillips is missing since Sunday in the western Amazon, near Brazil’s triple border with Colombia and Peru. The Indigenous leader he was traveling with had been receiving threats, and now both are unaccounted for while the Brazilian security forces slowly creep into action. It’s not looking good right now.

I don’t think I’ve ever met Phillips—I’ve only been to Brazil once in my life, so I wouldn’t have been a useful source for him. But he’s been a crucial window for me into what’s happening in Brazil. My news database has links to 102 articles from him over the years. Here are 16 of them. This is devastating.

July 22, 2020

Brazilians like Silva are dying in remote towns whose health systems can’t handle the caseload. And doctors and health specialists say Bolsonaro’s dismissal of the pandemic has confused Brazilians, eroded lockdowns, and helped propagate Covid-19

June 9, 2020

Covid-19 first hit Brazil’s white upper classes, who brought it back from abroad. Now the virus is scything through the country’s poorer suburbs, favelas and low-income towns

May 6, 2020

We need to step back into the Amazon’s chaotic and rapacious history of colonisation

March 4, 2020

On 19 April 2017, nine men were brutally murdered in what became known as the “Colniza massacre”. The men had been squatting on remote forest land in the state of Mato Grosso

January 13, 2020

Gold prospectors are ravaging the Yanomami indigenous reserve. So why does President Bolsonaro want to make them legal?

January 2, 2020

Six prominent voices from the arts, media, diplomacy and the Amazon give their views on the far-right president’s opening 12 months

February 25, 2019

Brazil, Venezuela

It was the remote frontier with Brazil that saw the worst violence and the boldest – though unfounded – claims of success in getting aid into Venezuela

December 18, 2018

Bolsonaro has said the Yanomami reserve, which at 9.6m hectares (24m acres) is twice the size of Switzerland, was too big for its indigenous population

August 24, 2018

Mining reserves – and plentiful fish – mean Brazil’s Javari Valley is increasingly at risk from armed poachers seeking to plunder its resources. So, too, are the tribes who call it home

August 22, 2018

The case has exposed the vulnerability of isolated groups in the Javari Valley, the prejudice indigenous people face in communities around them, and the difficulties of such investigations

August 21, 2018

Dom Phillips and Gary Calton joined an expedition to track the whereabouts of an uncontacted tribe, who threaten the safety of Brazil’s Marubo people

July 12, 2018

Known as “militias”, paramilitary groups – which often include former and serving police officers and firefighters – have quietly taken control of swathes of Rio’s western suburbs

August 10, 2017

Venezuela, Western Hemisphere Regional

The steady erosion of human rights has left Latin American leftists – once broadly united behind its charismatic late leader Hugo Chávez – in disarray

July 17, 2017

As Venezuela falls further into turmoil, more of its citizens are leaving a country that once served as a haven

February 9, 2017

A multimillionaire reality TV star and an evangelical bishop might seem worlds apart. But the surprise new populist mayors of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo both signal a rejection of traditional leaders by cities mired in economic crisis

November 9, 2015

It was Brazil’s biggest-ever operation of its kind and was hailed by activists internationally. But now, signs of the settlers’ return are rife

WOLA Podcast: Investing in Amazon Crude: Oil, Finance, and Survival

Despite the grim subject matter, I enjoyed recording this conversation with two colleagues whom I’ve known for many years. I also don’t know much at all about the topic, so a lot of their recent report was new to me. They handled my basic questions very well. Here’s the text from WOLA’s website:

Preserving the Amazon rainforest ecosystem is essential to slowing climate change, but that is getting harder to do. When you think about environmental destruction in the Amazon region, you may picture illegal logging, cattle ranchers, agribusiness, and devastating fires. But it turns out that at least the western part of the Amazon is sitting on a sea of oil as well, and companies are moving in. These companies are getting financed by some big banks and investment firms in the United States.

In early March, Amazon Watch published a report on oil exploration plans and global financial firms’ role, Investing in Amazon Crude. We talk about the report’s findings, and what can be done about them, with two longtime Latin America human rights advocates from Amazon Watch. Moira Birss is the organization’s climate and finance director, and Andrew Miller is the advocacy director.

Listen above, or download the .mp3 file.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.