Reporting trip to Brazil's Southern Amazon ends abruptly by Bear Guerra

Bear's most recent reporting trip in the Southern Amazon with our friend Juliana Barbassa has ended abruptly with a disturbing incident. Read more about the incident and the alert put out by the Foreign Correspondents' Association (Associação de Correspondentes da Imprensa Estrangeira no Brasil or ACIE.)

They received threats from local authorities as they tried to report on deforestation and land conflicts, and soon after their equipment (with all of their field reporting to date) was stolen. Needless to say, they felt unsafe, and as freelancers, they knew it would have been too risky to stay on without institutional support.

To quote Juliana: Last year, the Catholic Land Pastoral tallied 21 murders of landless peasants or rural activists in the state of Rondônia alone; another five have been killed or disappeared in the first two months of this year. Violence against journalists has also surged. Brazil, a country that is not at war, does not face terrorist attacks, and does not have official censorship, was behind only Syria and France in number of journalists killed in 2015, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Bear Will Be on Assignment in Peru This June by Bear Guerra

Illegal gold miners in Madre de Dios, Peru (2010).

Illegal gold miners in Madre de Dios, Peru (2010).

Bear will be back in Peru next week for another story about mining, this time in Cajamarca, on assignment for the Stockholm-based Blank Spot Project.

Unlike his previous work on gold mining in the country, he will not be focusing on illegal or artisanal mining. This will be a story about the world’s second-largest open-pit mine, Yanacocha, where local Peruvians have been protesting the expansion of the mining operations for the last several years. 

Stay tuned for dispatches from the field.