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Story Publication logo April 22, 2019

Multimedia Special: The Defenders of Darien

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Heavy machinery is cutting a new road to untouched Caribbean beaches. Extractive industries are...

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A group of seven Wounaan men and two women in Puerto Lara decided to start monitoring and recording birds in their Darién forests. Image by Alexander Arosemena. Panama, 2019.
A group of seven Wounaan men and two women in Puerto Lara decided to start monitoring and recording birds in their Darién forests. Image by Alexander Arosemena. Panama, 2019.

The Darién Gap between Panama and Colombia has long been known as an impregnable stretch of rainforest, rivers and swamps inhabited by indigenous peoples as well as guerrillas, drug traffickers and paramilitaries. Today the area is undergoing steady deforestation.

In Panama, some of the Darién's indigenous communities are working to reverse this situation. Mappers, a drone pilot, a lawyer, bird-watchers, a journalist and reforesters are carrying out ambitious projects to stop the degradation.

View a multimedia special with footage from the Darién Gap here.

Support for this reporting was made possible by the Rainforest Journalism Fund, in association with the Pulitzer Center.

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