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Story Publication logo March 19, 2024

The Standing Forest — Bá Kájmã Ãm


aerial view of a small settlement set around a dirt airstrip in the middle of thick vegetation

This project examines crime groups working in the Amazon rainforest.

Video by Hyury Potter. Brazil.

With firm steps in the forest, Takaknhotire Kayapó searches for seeds that fall from centuries-old chestnut trees near the Xingu River, in the Kayapó Indigenous Land (TI). The seeds inside the pits serve as food and a source of income for communities in the region, in the southeast of Pará.

At 75 years old, "Soldado" (Soldier), as Takaknhotire is called, has seen many changes in the territory of his people. Therefore, he knows well what he wants and, above all, what he doesn't want for the small village Kamoktidjam, which he himself founded in 2016 with his family. “One day I went to look for açaí and there was no more, the wildcat gold miners cut down all the trees,” laments Soldier.

The Kayapó TI was most affected by illegal gold mining in the last five years in Brazil. Between 2018 and 2022, the territory lost 13,700 hectares of forest due to deforestation caused by irregular mining, according to a MapBiomas survey.

However, not all local Indigenous villages resisted the onslaught, as they did when Soldier won. In some of them, wildcat miners bribe families to access the territory.

According to the residents, few people benefit from the money. This is the context covered by the documentary The Standing Forest — Bá Kájmã Ãm, produced by Repórter Brasil, with support from Investigative Journalism for Europe (IJ4EU) and Journalismfund Europe.

The Standing Forest — Bá Kájmã Ãm (2024 | 18 minutes)

Direction and screenplay: Hyury Potter

Executive production: Carlos Juliano Barros

Director of photography: Fer Ligabue

Assembly and finishing: Pedro Watanabe

Assembly assistant: Vinicius Silvestre

Post-production: Candela Filmes and Pomodoro Studios

Design and motion coordinator: Willer Carvalho

Produced by: Repórter Brasil


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Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change
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Extractive Industries

Extractive Industries
teal halftone illustration of a young indigenous person


Indigenous Rights

Indigenous Rights
a yellow halftone illustration of a truck holding logs





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Rainforest Investigations Network

Rainforest Investigations Network

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