Illegal cattle ranching has been the underlying driver of the uptick in violence and illegal land seizures that have marked Brazil’s Amazon this year. The destructive fires that grabbed the world’s attention in July and August were part of a broader process to convert protected rainforest into pasture land for cattle. Amnesty International documented recent efforts to illegally seize land for cattle farming in five protected areas across Brazil’s Amazon. The illegal land seizures were accompanied by threats and acts of intimidation against local residents, Indigenous peoples and government officials in charge of protecting the environment and Indigenous territories.
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