August 21th, 2023
When the world hears the word Amazon, it generally thinks of Brazil first. But the largest tropical forest in the world clings to life across the territories of nine South American countries. Among them, Bolivia. This is a daring journey through the invisible Bolivian lung that is literally on its deathbed, supported by the shoulders of women and men who have become its solitary guardians, whose existence withstands the harshest thunderclaps caused by power and the powerful.
This multimedia investigative report was conducted by Revista Nómadas, with the support of the Amazon Rainforest Journalism Fund in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.
Indigenous people are fighting against the multiple threats that loom over their home. The voracity of deforestation, forest fires, drug trafficking, and river pollution jeopardize their sacred land. With bravery and ancestral connection, these jungle guardians resist, protecting the planet’s lung and defending their right to live in harmony with nature.
Development comes with blood. It’s the blood of the wild animals of the Bolivian Amazon that is silently being spilled on the road that is getting acquainted with asphalt, whose construction advances in the northern part of the country, opens the doors to new human settlements, and accelerates the hungry expansion of forest-devouring agriculture.
The Tuichi is not just any river. Its strength with untamed waters descends from the Andes to the Amazon, and on its journey, it makes you recognize the greatness of its existence. Its waters are the lifeblood of Madidi National Park and also the home of guardians with a river’s soul who work to keep the life-giving current that saw them born, healthy.
The Bolivian Amazon, little known to the eyes of the world, is a vast universe that generates life. However, this natural treasure, which represents 70% of Bolivia’s territory and 11.20% of the entire continental Amazon basin, faces multiple adversaries. Water pollution and the destruction of the forest due to mining activities, deforestation, and the construction of a paved road, as well as the threat of a dam in the world’s most biodiverse park, the Madidi, endanger its existence. Despite the challenges and dangers, the brave indigenous guardians of the rainforest fight with passion and ancestral wisdom to protect their home and their lives, confronting the external pressure that has disrupted their tranquility.
Large-scale deforestation caused by encroachments, rampant mining, the specters of dams threatening to be built, forest fires, and the advancement of an asphalt road are harming the health of the Bolivian Amazon.
She leads the resistance against destructive projects like hydroelectric plants and mining, while advocating for the rights of indigenous peoples and the protection of the environment. Her voice highlights the dangerous process of extermination that indigenous communities are facing and how they are being left without water and food.
Facing threats and limitations, he battles powerful political and economic interests in a titanic struggle to defend nature. Overnight, a blog appeared on the internet to discredit him and his family. But no attack against him can stop him.
Encroachments, fires, and water scarcity are the harsh realities for the Chiquitano people of Bolivia’s lowlands, as settlers and agribusiness advance without hesitation. With drug trafficking as a looming threat, being a forest defender is a dangerous challenge that stirs the anger of the powers at play. Maida Peña knows it.
Marcos Uzquiano faces a dangerous enemy: illegal miners who threaten the lives of the guardians of Madidi, the world’s most biodiverse protected area. He reveals the dark secrets behind his tireless fight to protect the forest and how the miners pressured him to relocate to a place where he would «make less noise.»
DIRECTOR: Roberto Navia. PRODUCTION MANAGER: Karina Segovia. PHOTOGRAPHS: Karina Segovia, Lisa Mirella Corti. SOUND PRODUCTION AND POST-PRODUCTION: Andrés Navia. ILLUSTRATIONS AND INFOGRAPHICS: Brocha Silvestre. SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR: Lisa Mirella Corti. WEB DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT: Richard Osinaga. COLLABORATION: Manuel Seoane, Diego Adriázola y Daniel Coimbra.
Te contamos desde el interior de los escenarios de la realidad, iluminados por el faro de la agenda propia, el texto bien labrado y la riqueza poética del audiovisual y de la narrativa sonora, combinaciones perfectas para sentir el corazón del medioambiente y de los anónimos del Planeta.