For years, scientists have warned of an "irreversible tipping point" in the destruction of the Amazon. At that point, the world's largest rainforest will no longer generate enough rainfall to keep itself alive. Instead, the Amazon will enter a cycle of continuous degradation that will drive billions of carbon tonnes into our atmosphere.
Against this dire warning, Bolsonaro's government is charging ahead with plans for the Ferrogrão railroad project — a project that promises to push the Amazon far past its existential tipping point.
"Ferrogrão", or "grain train", will rip through nearly 1,000 km of the eastern Amazon. The $1.7 billion ecocidal megaproject's primary function will be a corporate giveaway for agribusiness giants such as Cargill, Amaggi, and Bunge, lowering the costs of commodity export while driving deforestation to the brink.
Bolsonaro's neocolonial ambitions seek to ram the tracks through Indigenous homelands, protected areas, and afrodescendentes and quilombolas communities, in direct contravention of international treaties, Brazilian law, and popular opinion.
But those at the Amazonian frontline and their allies across Brazil are fighting back. Emanating from the "Levante Pela Terra" or "Rising for Earth" camp in Brasília, where representatives from over 40 Indigenous peoples have protested for weeks against government threats to Indigenous territorial sovereignty, actions in support of the movement have now broken out around the country. The Party of Socialism and Liberty (PSol) won a temporary injunction against Ferrogrão on grounds of unconstitutionality, with the case now appealed for consideration by the Supreme Federal Court. But these hopeful signs are only the latest developments in the centuries-long battle for Indigenous sovereignty and defense of the Amazon.
Now, those in the struggle are calling on progressive forces everywhere to join their fight. "This is a call for solidarity," Brazil's Articulation of Indigenous People (APIB) and its allies in the PSol wrote in a letter to the Progressive International. "We ask for your support to help us stop this catastrophe."
That is why we are dispatching an international delegation to Brazil.
Responding to the invitation of the APIB and the PSOL, the Progressive International is mobilizing a team of parliamentarians, Indigenous representatives, climate justice organizers, and scientific experts to the Amazon. This isn't simply a fact-finding mission. The objectives, and the stakes, are clear:
We are mobilizing to the Amazon to defeat the Ferrogrão project at the decisive moment in the history of the rainforest, Brazilian democracy, and Earth's biosphere. Support the delegation, and stand with Indigenous communities across the Amazon in their struggle.
Photo: Oregon State University
The Movement connects, supports, and organizes progressive forces around the world.
In just a few months since launch, the Movement has published over 20 statements from our members, drawing crucial attention to uprisings in Serbia and Belarus and denouncing moves to curtail democracy in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Guatemala.
With over 40 member organizations from more than 25 countries — including trade unions, parties, alliances, and associations, collectively representing millions of people — the Movement is fast becoming a truly planetary front. This work is only possible thanks to you.
Help us build this common front. Donate to the Movement.