Criminal Networks Driving Deforestation In Brazil: Daily Brief

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon driven by rainforest mafia; refugee children in Greek island camps trapped in horrendous conditions; Bangladesh orders internet blackout for Rohingya refugees; UN report calls for top Myanmar generals to face trial; effect of South Africa’s carbon emissions devastating for local communities; workers paying the price for deregulation in US & Georgia; beaten to death by a teacher in Pakistan, and collective punishment in Jordan.

A rainforest mafia is driving deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon using violence and intimidation against forest defenders, a new Human Rights Watch report found. President Jair Bolsonaro has made the situation even worse by scaling back enforcement of environmental laws, and weakening federal environmental agencies.

At least 24,000 refugees, many children, are trapped in vastly overcrowded Greek island camps, where people are “robbed of their dignity and forced to live in horrendous conditions”, says Médecins Sans Frontières. With a new surge in refugees, the islands’ infrastructure is now at breaking point, the organization warns.


Bangladesh authorities have shut down telecommunication and internet services in Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh. The shutdown is hampering desperately needed services, putting lives at risk.

Meanwhile, a UN fact-finding mission has deemed repatriation of Rohingya refugees impossible due to a serious risk of genocide and called for top Myanmar generals, most notably army chief Min Aung Hlaing, to face trial for the killings, gang rape and arson during the Rohingya crackdown.

Coal-fired power stations are responsible for almost half of South Africa’s carbon emissions. Coal power plants, in addition to polluting the areas around them, are among the major contributors to global climate change. Already, the effect on local communities is devastating.

Deregulation of the mining sector may cut costs for the industry. But workers and communities pay the price with their safety and their health, research into deregulation in the US and the East-European country of Georgia found.

Hunain Bilal, a 17-year-old student in Lahore, was punished so severely by his teacher for not having memorized a lesson that he later died from his injuries. Corporal punishment is widespread in Pakistan’s schools, and a significant reason why millions of children, especially girls, don’t enrol.

And: In an act of collective punishment Jordanian authorities have forced about 200 people to leave their home governorate because of their extended family ties to an accused murderer.