Debates in Latin American Social Theory

Asynchronous Assignment on Brazil’s Indigenous Ecological Warriors


1. Watch the Vice News Reportage Illegal Loggers: The Tribe Waging War in the Amazon (Vice News, 2015)

2. Choose ONE prompt. Post your answer in the comment section down below. 200-word minimum. The deadline is 4/27 before the class. 


Discuss the complicated process of recuperating and re-generating occupied Tembe land. What obstacles Tembe people are facing? What strategies are they using to regain their territory?


What are the benefits and the dangers of directly intervening with illegal loggers within Tembe land? What type of support do Tembe people need?


Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses. Do you agree with their arguments and interpretations? Do you disagree? What other observations about the video reportage Illegal Loggers do you want to bring into the discussion?

7 thoughts on “Asynchronous Assignment on Brazil’s Indigenous Ecological Warriors”

  1. The dangers of illegal loggers within Tembe land is that people on that land have to protect their land on their own because the government won’t do anything to protect them. The people of Tembe land are not able to use their own land even though it is their area, and the warriors are fighting to take it back since it is important for them. The people of Tembe land do not like that the illegal loggers are changing their land. Due to illegal loggers, the people of Tembe land could become violent because they do not have a place to live, and go hungry as well. The support the Tembe People need is from the government because they aren’t proving that for the people, and the Tembe land people have to fight for their land since it is rightfully theirs, and would die fighting for it.

  2. There are many benefits and dangers that come with directly intervening with illegal loggers within Tembe land. One benefit is the ability to handle the situation in a manner that the community deems appropriate. They are not required to wait for the government or others to handle the situation, as that may take longer than it should or may come with certain expectations from the government. They explain in the video that this was a process that has been going on for over 40 years, and despite petitioning for the help of the government, they never received any. Direct intervention also demonstrates the power within the Tembe community, as they come together to uphold their values and beliefs. Because they directly handle the issues, it gives them a certain reputation and shows they will not allow for this to continue without some sort of resistance. Yet there are also many dangers of directly intervening, such as the Tembe people becoming injured during these interactions. They go out on their own terms with a variety of weapons in order to remove the illegal loggers, and there are many instances where the loggers also have weapons. Those who are on the front lines are willing to risk everything in order to get their land back, which leads to dangerous circumstances.

  3. The dangers of intervening with illegal loggers are more of the danger that the indigenous people can have on the loggers, because of what they are willing to do to protect their land. They need to fight and have to burn the trucks and possibly even kill to be able to protect the land that was taken away from them. Moreover, although the government has ordered the eviction of the people who created the farm, there was no set date given which causes this tension of still having them present on their land. To continue, the Tembe people need support from the government in having support in protecting the land and keeping the people who are trying to steal from it away.

  4. Discuss the complicated process of recuperating and re-generating occupied Tembe land. What obstacles Tembe people are facing? What strategies are they using to regain their territory?

    In the Alto Rio Guama Reserve in theAmazon rainforest of Brazil, The Tembe Indigenous peoples are faced with many challenges the most poignant one being over the illegal appropriation of their land and the destruction of their ecology and in turn earth’s eco-system. As deforestation not only threatens the Tembe homeland but has far-reaching effects on the ecology of our planet as a whole. With little support from the federal government the Tembe have seen no other choice than to become warriors and defenders of their own land. When possible they partner with federal agencies like FUNAI, which was established in Brazil to carry out policies regarding indigenous people and land. Even so the support is not consistent and it is up to the Tembe Tribe to do what they can to preserve this beautiful and essential ecology. Many times having to put their own lives at risk to do so, the Tembe are peaceful people and would prefer to resolve conflicts and expulsions from land amicably but they also have prioritized their land and are prepared to do whatever it takes to do so. In the rainforest they track illegal loggers by the track marks left in the road and other evidence of torn down trees, they will usually start things off with a warning but if met with resistance or multiple attempts they will burn the logs and their vehicles if necessary. They understand that most of the workers by these private, pirate companies are also indigenous to this land and they have no interest in harming their own people, so they take great care not to start direct conflict with their neighbors although they have at times challenged or asked them if they do not understand the repercussions of their actions, because if they did they would not acquiesque. With Tribal leader Puyr Tembe making an important point, if you destroy where we live you are not acting like our family or neighbor, you are behaving like our enemy. The Tembe feel justified when they do have to destroy equipment because they had been causing the destruction of their home but although they say they have no fear when it comes to protecting what is there’s they do live under the constant awareness that retaliation is a great likelihood and have to be prepared if and when that time comes.

    It seems unconscionable that so many indigenous people all over the globe have to go through similar struggles to simply protect the land that is not only theirs but ours, the worlds the ecology that provides our air and protects us from the elements. Yet, they find it almost impossible to receive any real resources or support from the federal government or even international environment protection NGO’s. I have witnessed the beauty and majesty of the rainforest and have unfortunately also witnessed it burning, and even then the retiscence of the world to do anything to at least help these local indigenous tribes by protecting their land and holding those responsible for the destruction, burning and deforestation of our ecology.

  5. A really hard task Tembe people had to take over is the protection of their land from illegal loggers and other people whose purpose is to damage or destroy their land. There are daily challenges that indigenious people have to face to survive; however protecting their land against illegal activities has been added to their daily challenges. Tembe people had no other choice than to become warriors to not allow people to take their land for granted. A Tembe lady said that they are going to call enemies to whoever is against their idea of preserving their land or not cooperating to fight for it. Tembes have asked for help from the government as their desperate call for action against illegal loggers, but the government hasn’t responded to their call. Therefore, Tembe people have to defend their land and everything that it’s in it to the point of risking their own lives and families. Some strategies they take to stop illegal loggers are leaving a warning in the place they are damaging or even burning their logs to scare their enemies. Tembe indigenious people have looked up for ways to protect their land with zero violence; however they have no external support. Unfortunately, this is a well-known problem in society to not support indigenious people or to discriminate against them for their ways of living. Their work and their efforts need to be recognized because they are also contributing to the environment.

  6. Fighting For Change(Other Avenues)
    In driectly interacting with illegal lodgers the Tembe are risking their own lives and missing out on politcal opportunities that can give them a platform to share their own voices via their own government’s political system. Moreover, the Tembe are going about this battle indirectly without a government establishing their own identies and addressing their own concerns, but there ways to legally engage in this battle. Including different strategies that push fourth more government engagement.
    As an indigenous community establishing their own form of government to coincide with other politcal affiliations will bring a new face to their community. Furthermore, establishing a line a defense as a part of their own academic curriculum, along with how to take care of their land and establish different sources of income through their knowledge can bring about a new source of income to their communites, allowing them to have more economic power.
    In order to end this battle they need to have resources outside of their communites, all though it is admirable that their fighting for their land using different war tactics. It is not enough to sustain their community.

  7. Fighting for what belongs to you may seem like an easy task as you are entitled to what is yours but in this situation regarding the Temble indigenous they are risking it all to get back what they want to preserve. Being indigenous off the bat, their rights are taken away as the government does not recognize them as part of their citizens. Now the tembles are dealing with deforestation caused by illegal loggers who want to strip them from their land. The strategies they are using in order to regain their land is by looking on the ground of any sign of loggers making their way into the territory. If they find tracks of any sort they will follow until they reach where the illegal loggers are at. From this point on they will confront them about the situation and continue to talk until they leave the land. Preserving the forest is not only their home but it is also for the safety of the ecosystem.

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