Reporter Jenny Kleeman and producer Paul Kittel travel to the heart of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest to reveal just how some of the Earth's most isolated people are being affected by the banking crisis, which has caused the price of gold to rise to record levels.
There are approximately 30,000 self-employed miners in Brazil, the vast majority of whom are working illegally. They have invaded the territory of the indigenous Yanomami tribesmen, bringing with them viral infections and whiskey. They transform swaths of rainforest into giant craters filled with stagnant water, where mosquitoes breed and spread malaria. Although the mining is illegal, the Brazilian Air Force and the federal police blame each other for the inadequacy of their response. Meanwhile, the Yanomami - the custodians of the forest - are being wiped out.
"A well-argued plea for an ancient culture's survival, rich in memorable images"
- The Sunday Times
April 11, 2008
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