Latin America has a long and bloody history of extractivism. The rivalry over natural resources, such as sugar, copper and oil has for many years pitted large multinational corporations – usually backed by state authorities – against local communities, often indigenous groups. It is not difficult to guess who won most of these struggles. That is why it is so newsworthy that an oil drilling project in the Amazon was recently abandoned due to indigenous protests. Rebecca Bertram reports
While in North America and Europe more hydropower plants are being dismantled than built, many countries in Latin America continue to invest in the controversial renewable energy source. In Colombia, two hydropower plants are to be installed in the Amazon region. Social-ecological and cultural costs of the project are not taken into account. Kathrin Meyer reports about the serious impacts that hydropower could have on the zone.
Recent reports on the fires in the Amazon have dominated the international news on what’s currently going on in Brazil. The world is witness to the destruction of millions of acres of rainforest – the so-called lungs of the world. Brazil’s new President is widely criticized for rolling back environmental regulations in favor of Brazil’s powerful agricultural lobby. However, little attention has been given to changes in Brazil’s energy policy. So what exactly does Bolsonaro have in store for the country’s energy sector? Rebecca Bertram reports