Much of the Latin American rainforest is under threat from oil companies, logging and mining, and deforestation for agriculture. Indigenous groups and activists play key roles in defending the territory—but many have sacrificed their lives to protect the surviving rainforest.
"Land of Resistants," a Pulitzer Center-supported project from the Rainforest Journalism Fund spearheaded by a coalition of Latin American journalists, investigates the alarming uptick in violence against environmental activists—and particularly ethnic minorities like indigenous groups— in seven Central and South American countries.
Including an extensive database that documents over thirteen hundred attacks on environmentalists that took place in these countries over a ten-year period, along with articles and multimedia pieces published in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, "Land of Resistants" is earning recognition in the U.S. Media. Notably, a May 15, 2019, News Desk piece for The New Yorker by Rachel Riederer credits the project as helping increase understanding of how rainforest land is being seized by people hoping to exploit it. "As the reporters [for "Land of Resistants"] compiled their stories, certain patterns emerged," Reiderer writes. "Attacks often took place in remote regions, where the government and law enforcement had scant presence, if any." The piece goes on to report on the various forms that physical violence and threats toward environmentalists take throughout the region.
Support for "Land of Resistants" was made possible by the Rainforest Journalism Fund, in association with the Pulitzer Center.