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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > General > Intrn’l Video: A Brazilian highway built in the Bolivian rainforest pits environmentalists against indigenous communities

Intrn’l Video: A Brazilian highway built in the Bolivian rainforest pits environmentalists against indigenous communities

LatinaLista — Brazil, like some of its South American neighbors, is considered an emerging market in the global world of trade. One of today’s biggest trade partners is Asia. Brazil, being on the east coast of South America, and along the shores of the South Atlantic Ocean, needs an “inter-oceanic” road that connects the Atlantic with the Pacific that will help speed their shipments to Asia.

The inter-oceanic road that needs to be built to complete Brazil’s quest lies in Tipnis, Bolivia — right through part of the Bolivian rainforest. Though the governments of both Brazil and Bolivia have signed off on building the highway, public outcry in Bolivia has risen.

Experts point out that not only will the biodiversity in that section of the rain forest will be destroyed but that officials admit that the road will also be used to transport illegal drugs, such as cocaine. Yet, for many of the indigenous, cocaine is their only means of survival.

A short documentary about the road titled The Dividing Line – TIPNIS and Bolivia’s Road examines the impact of the road on the people and the region.

“The film looks at some of the economic and political reasons underpinning the road, as well as the parts played by the cocaine trade and misleading perceptions of indigenous communities, both of which support continuing deforestation. More than anything the film poses a series of challenges to the environmental movement, asking that the complexity of the crisis be considered away from the oversimplified and individualistic terms” that controversies like this are often framed.

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