Defiant: Documenting the Violation of the Natural World by Latin American Reporters

Rupert Medd
  • Resilience A Journal of the Environmental Humanities, January 2016, University of Nebraska Press
  • DOI: 10.5250/resilience.3.2016.0169

What is it about?

In 1999 the countries that share the Amazon created an online initiative together with their respective ministries of environment, International Conservation, and the International Center for Journalists. It is titled 'Premio reportaje sobre biodiversidad' (PRB, Award-Winning Articles on Biodiversity). Their objective is to support the professionalism of journalists, travelers, and community groups who cover environmental topics. With a general focus on Peru’s Amazon regions, this form of contemporary resistance and testimonial literature by the underrepresented is confronting globalization through a growing environmental consciousness that acknowledges the importance of biodiversity, sustainable practices, and Indigenous rights.

Why is it important?

Women writers in particular make extensive use of this online resource in their attempts to confront environmental lawlessness by exploring alternative sociopolitical relations and lifestyles. Guided by their writing, the main aim here is to show how these PRB writer-activists are making visible the environmental emergencies by documenting the escalating sociopolitical and ecological struggles within the Amazon regions and to expose further the ecological reality of those living in the margins.


Dr Rupert Medd

In 2014, indigenous eco-activist Edwin Chota, along with three others from his community, were murdered in Amazonian border regions in their attempts to halt illegal logging and the extraction of natural resources and forest wildlife. It was an echo of the high profile case of Chico Mendes, the rubber-tapper trade-union leader and environmentalist murdered in Acre, Amazonia, Brazil, in 1988. We can add celebrated campaigners Berta Cáceres and Isidro Baldenegro López among others to this list. Altruism is at the heart of global environmentalism, therefore, such brutality against those whose determination to protect the world's ecosystems effects us all. Their delicate dedication highlights and strengthens our cause for global environmental change and a legal system that must respond to, as well as represent, the world's ecological crisis and surviving Indigenous people.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Rupert Medd