Voices from Amazon PB

Breton Binka Le, Author, Binka Le Breton, Author Kumarian Press $14.95 (166p) ISBN 978-1-56549-021-5
A concert pianist living in Brazil since 1989, Le Breton took a three-month trip through Brazil's Amazon region, interviewing a diverse group of inhabitants. Though this book lacks insight and power , it serves as a decent overview of the region and its conflicts. Traveling in the state of Rondonia, which had grown from 100,000 people in 1960 to one million in 1990, Le Breton first speaks to representatives of the decimated Indians, who are struggling to acquire autonomy, then to loggers, one of whom declares, ``These forests were given to us by God to be used.'' The caboclos --forest people of mixed blood--are concerned with day-to-day survival, and independent miners, known as garimpeiros, scratch out a living. A state bureaucrat waxes optimistic about planned local development, rich ranchers protest potential land reform, and rubber tappers talk about setting up forest reserves to protect against ranchers clearing land. Le Breton concludes, somewhat wishfully, that the Brazilian government must reform to preserve the forests, improve infrastructure and invest in environmental education, and that creditor nations should consider debt relief for Brazil. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
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