Aug 3rd, 2012
The solicitor-general of Brazil signed an order on July 23 that, in the words of an anonymous expert source, “opens up all indigenous areas to mineral, dams, roads, military bases and other developments of ‘national interest’ without the need to consult with or address concerns of indigenous peoples.”
This is a classic example of something we’ve written about before: the territories of indigenous and rural peoples are often the favored locations for big infrastructure projects. As we’ve said:
“By no coincidence, new infrastructure — even in North America — is overwhelmingly slated for territories of indigenous or rural peoples. These territories hold two powerful attractions for modern colonialists, just as they always have.
“First of all, Earth-based cultures tend to live in highly biodiverse areas, where there are still “resources” to be exploited (intact forests for lumber; intact land above oil or minerals; intact, undammed rivers). The second advantage is just as important: If members of traditional societies can be forced off their land by highways, dams or other such projects, they instantly become a cheap work force.”
Big infrastructure is the first line of assault on healthy ecosystems and cultures — meant not only to facilitate turning living ecosystems into dead products, but also to drive a wedge between the people and the land so that both can be exploited.