Indigenous, African-descended and other traditional communities are caught in escalating violence from drug trafficking in Amazon “cocaine corridor.”
Brazilian criminal groups prey on young Venezuelan migrants, especially unaccompanied minors, who cross border in search of jobs.
Along border with Venezuela, Colombian guerrillas lure unemployed Indigenous youths into drug trade, extortion rackets and armed conflict.
The notorious Brazilian gang Comando Vermelho has seized control of the cocaine trade in Peru’s Ucayali region.
Before embarking on a perilous trek through the jungle, drug couriers in Colombia turn to shamans for protection.
The poorest narcos in the trafficking chain risk even their own children to deliver drugs to criminal organizations.
In Venezuela’s southern Amazon region, Pemón Indigenous communities are caught between encroaching armed groups and illegal gold miners.
Miners dredging millions of dollars in gold from Brazil’s Puruê River devastate the environment and attract armed groups.
The Amazon, the largest rainforest in the world, is also a source and transit point for illegally extracted jungle resources and narcotics. As criminal economies expand, violence and deforestation worsen
Satellite images show that the interruption of gold mining immediately changed the color of the river. Operators of dredges, which can cost up to US$1.4 million, said they planned to return to the area after the government anti-mining operation ended.