The Brazil Institute invites you to a lecture by Sue Brandford.
The talk will be an account of my trip in November 2016 along the BR-163 (Cuiabá-Santarém Highway), Whereas the region in the south around Sorriso and Sinop is relatively peaceful and 'modern', because opposition to the takeover by the sojeiros (soya farmers) has been defeated, the region further to the north, around Castelo dos Sonhos and Novo Progresso, where the agricultural frontier is just arriving, is lawless. There are violent clashes between big farmers, landless peasants and indigenous groups, and the region has Brazil's highest rate of illegal forest clearance. It is like stepping back into the 1970s, the period of my first trips to the Amazon, as landowners act with impunity, openly sending in private militias to evict peasant families. Some of the strongest supporters of the Temer government are to be found here.
Correspondent for the Financial Times in Brazil, 1974-1979, and for the Guardian, 1991-1993. Latin America producer at the BBC World Service, 1994-2004. Currently free-lance journalist. Author of five books, including "The Last Frontier -- Fighting over Land in the Amazon", Zed Book, 1985.
This talk, part of the King's Brazil Institute Research Seminar Series, will be followed by a Q&A and wine.