Patrick Wilcken

Creating Pax Xinguana

People of the Rainforest: The Villas Boas Brothers, Explorers and Humanitarians of the Amazon


Hurst 291pp £20 order from our bookshop

‘The Indians don’t speak our language, don’t have money or culture. They’re native peoples. How did they end up with 13 per cent of Brazil’s territory?’ Jair Bolsonaro said to an audience in Mato Grosso do Sul in 2015, before becoming Brazil’s thirty-eighth president. At other times, he has said that the demarcation of indigenous territories is an obstacle to development and that the Amazon basin should be opened up for economic exploitation. Back in the 1990s he went further, lamenting in the Correio Braziliense newspaper: ‘It’s a shame that the Brazilian cavalry was not as efficient as the American, which exterminated the Indians.’

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