UPDATE: The New York Times piece below includes footage from the Chico Mendes documentary Voice of the Amazon by Miranda Productions. The documentary is now available in full here for free.
The New York Times continued their RETRO REPORT video series with a short documentary titled, “The Fight to Save the Amazon” about the assassination of environmentalist Chico Mendes and the attention his death brought to reckless deforestation in Brazil.
According to the Environmental Defense Fund, “Brazilian rubber tapper and land rights leader Chico Mendes pioneered the world’s first tropical forest conservation initiative advanced by forest peoples themselves. His work led to the establishment of Brazil’s extractive reserves protected forest areas that are inhabited and managed by local communities.
Chico Mendes and his colleagues were a tiny, marginalized minority in the 1980s, but their efforts brought them to power in parts of Brazil’s Amazon by the end of that decade. Tragically, Mendes became world-famous only when he was gunned down for his work in 1988.”