Seven years ago when Brazil was announced as FIFA’s selected host country for this year’s World Cup, Brazilians celebrated in the streets. on the eve of the tournament, polls showed that most people in the very country that has enjoyed more World Cup victories than any other no longer wanted to host the tournament whose final match played out July 13. Why the drastic change in public opinion, over a game Brazilians clearly adore?
A meeting in Popayán, capital of the Cauca department, was the excuse for learning about a complex and violent reality. The war between the military, paramilitaries, guerrillas, and drug traffickers is intertwined with savage extractivism, with illegal mining its worst expression.
As the World Cup nears, the American company Academi, formerly Blackwater, carried out training of Brazilian military personnel and federal police in April as part of a military cooperation agreement between Brazil and the United States signed in 2010.
Gold mining has become a scourge that afflicts most Latin American countries. In some places, a few giant transnational corporations operate. In others, hundreds or even thousands of people crowd into jungle rivers or the guts of mountains for a few grams of gold.
Economic crisis, product shortages, and polarization paint a scenario in which the continuity of the Bolivarian movement is at stake. So is the sovereignty of a country that dared to challenge dependence on the global superpower.
After three decades of struggle for agrarian reform, Brazil’s Landless Movement paused during its 6th Congress to evaluate its experience and reflect on the new reality. The goal: to change while changing themselves.