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China’s Appetite for Soy Is Turning Brazil’s Amazon into a Shantytown – brazzil

Over the last 40 years, the north of the state of Mato Grosso has profoundly changed. This far-reaching transformation — matched almost nowhere else in the world — is largely due to the rapid expansion of industrial agribusiness, particularly soybean production, which has destroyed huge swathes of savanna and tropical Amazon rainforest.

“There are certain regions, near Brasnorte [to the west of Sinop], for example, where you can look completely around, 360 degrees, and not see a single tree,” says anthropologist Rinaldo Arruda, a lecturer at the Catholic University (PUC) in São Paulo.

There is much talk about the prosperity that agribusiness has brought to Mato Grosso state, but, according to Andreia Fanzeres, coordinator of the indigenous rights program at the NGO Opan (Operação Amazônia Nativa), the traditional communities, which had inhabited the region for…

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