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Story Publication logo March 24, 2021

Video: The Pandemic and Conflict in the Pará's Jambuaçu Territory in Brazil (Portuguese)


A contaminated lake adjacent to the Hydro Norsk operation in Barcarena. A recent investigation identified multiple cases of unauthorized waste being emitted from the company’s aluminum processing facilities. Image by Cícero Pedrosa Neto. Brazil, undated.

Hydroelectric plants, mineral processing industries, ore pipelines, and an increasing number of...

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This excerpt below was translated from Portuguese. To read the original story in full, visit the Amazônia Real YouTube page. You may also view the Portuguese text on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.

The Jambuaçu quilombola territory comprises 16 communities in the municipality of Moju, in northeastern Pará. Surrounded by large mining and agribusiness enterprises, the communities had to face the advance of the new coronavirus pandemic and its socio-environmental impacts, in addition to other mounting threats. These include risks related to their land due to the presence of underground pipelines, contamination of water due to runoff from oil palm plantations, and continuing challenges to obtain recognition of cultural identity.

According to the observatory Quilombos Sem Covid-19, a partnership between the Socio-environmental Institute (ISA) and Conaq, as of March 22 Brazil had 5,059 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among quilombolas and 223 deaths. In Pará, the state with the highest number of fatal victims among remaining quilombola communities, by the same date there were 2,352 confirmed cases of the disease and 75 deaths, according to Malungu in partnership with the Federal University of Western Pará (Ufopa).

COVID-19 Update: The connection between local and global issues–the Pulitzer Center's long standing mantra–has, sadly, never been more evident. We are uniquely positioned to serve the journalists, news media organizations, schools, and universities we partner with by continuing to advance our core mission: enabling great journalism and education about underreported and systemic issues that resonate now–and continue to have relevance in times ahead. We believe that this is a moment for decisive action. Learn more about the steps we are taking.