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Story Publication logo August 14, 2023

Indigenous People in the Bolivian Amazon Struggle Against Threats to Their Home (Spanish)


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In the Bolivian Amazon jungle, Indigenous guardians fight against deforestation, fires, drug...

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This story excerpt was translated from Spanish. To read the original story in full, visit Los Tiempos. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website. Our website is available in EnglishSpanishbahasa IndonesiaFrench, and Portuguese.

Ahlfeld Waterfall in Noel Kempff Mercado National Park. Image by Karina Segovia. Bolivia, 2023.

The evil, in this remote part of the planet, is represented by the excessive appetite for deforestation that places Bolivia among the three countries in the world with the greatest loss of its primary tropical forest and that during 2022—according to the report of the World Resources Institute's Global Forest Watch —386,000 hectares were lost, an increase of 32 percent compared to 2021.

The dark side is also represented by the forest fires that arrive on time every year to devastate millions of hectares of jungle; by the contamination of the Amazonian rivers where hundreds of illegal mining companies operate, whose mercury waste travels through the veins of the inhabitants of at least 30 Indigenous communities that feed on fish that are also poisoned; by the drug trafficking that hides its cocaine factories among the leafy trees and where clandestine airstrips are built; by the projects that threaten the construction of dams; and by the actions of authorities who—far from accompanying the struggle for the protection of the rainforest—rage against the guardians who, endowed with an intimate connection to the land, air, and water, refuse to bow to the dark forces that threaten their sacred abode.

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Mining in Amazonian rivers is polluting and destroying nature. Image by Manuel Seoane/Los Tiempos. Bolivia, 2023.