“Our own people don’t have dignity. There’s no security. There are thousands of malnourished kids. How can we offer to be a safe country if it isn’t even safe for our own citizens?”
For more than three decades, Juscelina Silva Batista's life has followed the rise and fall of the Amazon River.
"People used to live there," said Joana Gomes da Silva, pointing to the cluster of skeletal trunks and branches. "It was a very pretty house. It's underwater now."
Although slavery as an institution no longer exists, forms of forced labor persist in the country.
With the miners came violence and diseases like malaria, to which the relatively isolated Indians had no resistance. In one village, no one survived. In others, as many as one-third of the villagers succumbed, some to disease and others to malnutrition.