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Pictures Report

RTX73U7M
Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
Loggers and ranchers have cleared land right up to the Guajajara reservation and crossed the border increasingly in recent decades. But since 2012, when the 'forest guardians' formed, they estimate that illegal incursions have fallen by half.
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73RZM
September 20, 2019
Near midnight, a group of six Guajajara tribesmen with their faces painted for battle listen to the rumble...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
Near midnight, a group of six Guajajara tribesmen with their faces painted for battle listen to the rumble of heavy trucks about 19 miles from their village in the Amazon rainforest. They suspect a caravan of illegal loggers felling trees on their reservation. The police are not coming, but the natives have a plan to fight back.


REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S00
September 20, 2019
The "forest guardians," as they call themselves, hurry to a choke point in the local network of rutted...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
The "forest guardians," as they call themselves, hurry to a choke point in the local network of rutted dirt roads and lay in wait, armed with rifles and handguns. As the trucks approach, they ready themselves to spring an ambush, apprehend the loggers and deliver the culprits, along with their equipment, to the nearest federal police station, hundreds of miles away.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73RZO
September 20, 2019
A Guajajara Indian and "forest guardian" burns a truck used by loggers. The men say they are among some...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
A Guajajara Indian and "forest guardian" burns a truck used by loggers. The men say they are among some 180 guardians patrolling their tribal land against loggers on night missions.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S13
September 20, 2019
By day, most guardians carve out an existence farming manioc, rice and other staples in the Arariboia...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
By day, most guardians carve out an existence farming manioc, rice and other staples in the Arariboia Indigenous Territory, a humid, 1,600-square-mile stretch of rainforest in the northeastern Brazilian state of Maranhao. The rest of Maranhao has lost most of its original rainforest over the past century.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S0G
September 20, 2019
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" draws water from a well at a loggers camp. Loggers and ranchers...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" draws water from a well at a loggers camp. Loggers and ranchers have cleared land right up to the Guajajara reservation and crossed the border increasingly in recent decades. But since 2012, when the 'forest guardians' formed, they estimate that illegal incursions have fallen by half.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S0W
September 20, 2019
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" holds a gun as he prepares to search for illegal loggers. "I'm proud...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" holds a gun as he prepares to search for illegal loggers. "I'm proud of the warriors who are continuing the fight, because the Arariboia Indigenous Territory was considered lost," says Laercio Guajajara, one of the group's coordinators. "But we're showing the world, the country, that our land isn't lost, that it has an owner."

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S0Q
September 20, 2019
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" bathes in a river on Arariboia indigenous land. Efforts by vigilante...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" bathes in a river on Arariboia indigenous land. Efforts by vigilante groups such as the guardians have gained attention this year, as the Amazon, the world's largest tropical rainforest, has suffered rising deforestation. More than 2,400 square miles of the Brazilian Amazon have been cleared so far in 2019, an area larger than the U.S. state of Delaware and nearly twice that registered by satellites in the same period of 2018, preliminary data shows.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S0V
September 20, 2019
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" paints his face. Fires in the Amazon, which often follow deforestation,...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" paints his face. Fires in the Amazon, which often follow deforestation, are also up around 50% this year, according to government data, spurring global outcry at the response of Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S14
September 20, 2019
The president has said the country's indigenous reservations are too expansive. He has called for mining...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
The president has said the country's indigenous reservations are too expansive. He has called for mining and industrial farming on tribal land and weakened environmental regulator Ibama, according to workers at the agency.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S0N
September 20, 2019
The Guajajara forest guardians say that has strengthened their conviction that the fate of their land...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
The Guajajara forest guardians say that has strengthened their conviction that the fate of their land is in their hands. "Those who should be enforcing laws and protecting indigenous lands are not doing it," says Olimpio Guajajara, a leader of the guardians. "I have a mission to protect the land."

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S0I
September 20, 2019
An Ibama spokesman told Reuters in August that previous governments were to blame for challenges facing...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
An Ibama spokesman told Reuters in August that previous governments were to blame for challenges facing Ibama. The Environment Ministry has said that it takes its role in protecting the rainforest seriously, pledging to halt criminal activity. Ibama did not respond to a request for comment on the Guajajara fight against logging on their land.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73RZQ
September 20, 2019
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" detains a logger during a search. Local law enforcement agencies...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" detains a logger during a search. Local law enforcement agencies have recognized the guardians' work in flagging illegal activity and presenting evidence. However, officials say that vigilantism is not the best method for dealing with the issue.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S11
September 20, 2019
Some guardians have been killed by loggers, the group told Reuters, and several wear face coverings during...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
Some guardians have been killed by loggers, the group told Reuters, and several wear face coverings during operations to avoid becoming marked men. They receive no compensation for the risky and grueling detective work, while spending part of their meager incomes on ammunition, gasoline and vehicle maintenance.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73RZL
September 20, 2019
As the guardians lay in wait, they spend nearly an hour in tense silence until a scout for the loggers...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
As the guardians lay in wait, they spend nearly an hour in tense silence until a scout for the loggers approaches.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73RZV
September 20, 2019
Surrounded by the guardians, the scout quickly surrenders and confesses that three trucks loaded with...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
Surrounded by the guardians, the scout quickly surrenders and confesses that three trucks loaded with illegal timber are on their way.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S02
September 20, 2019
When the trucks arrive, the guardians block the road with a 4x4 of their own.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
When the trucks arrive, the guardians block the road with a 4x4 of their own.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S0K
September 20, 2019
The loggers, who number around eight, fire a gunshot. The guardians fire back, and the loggers scatter...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
The loggers, who number around eight, fire a gunshot. The guardians fire back, and the loggers scatter into the forest.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73RZS
September 20, 2019
With no space to bring the captured scout to the police, the guardians leave him in the forest to be...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
With no space to bring the captured scout to the police, the guardians leave him in the forest to be retrieved by his colleagues.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73RZK
September 20, 2019
After failing to start the logging trucks they have seized, the guardians burn them to make sure they...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
After failing to start the logging trucks they have seized, the guardians burn them to make sure they are not used again.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S03
September 20, 2019
Guajajara Indians who call themselves "forest guardians" search the truck of a logger. "We asked them...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
Guajajara Indians who call themselves "forest guardians" search the truck of a logger. "We asked them to leave, and they didn't," says Laercio. "We're burning the trucks now to show our response." (Reporting by Leonardo Benassatto and Ueslei Marcelino; writing and additional reporting by Gram Slattery; editing by Brad Haynes and Rosalba O'Brien)

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S0H
September 20, 2019
Guajajara Indians "forest guardians" try to push a car which got stuck during a search for illegal loggers....
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
Guajajara Indians "forest guardians" try to push a car which got stuck during a search for illegal loggers. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S0O
September 20, 2019
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" lifts a tree trunk at a makeshift camp. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" lifts a tree trunk at a makeshift camp. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S0B
September 20, 2019
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" holds a gun as he prepares to search for illegal loggers. REUTERS/Ueslei...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" holds a gun as he prepares to search for illegal loggers. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S0T
September 20, 2019
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" prepares before going to search for illegal loggers. REUTERS/Ueslei...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" prepares before going to search for illegal loggers. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S0Y
September 20, 2019
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" holds a gun as he prepares to search for illegal loggers. REUTERS/Ueslei...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" holds a gun as he prepares to search for illegal loggers. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S0J
September 20, 2019
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" rests in a makeshift camp. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" rests in a makeshift camp. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S01
September 20, 2019
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" searches for illegal loggers on Arariboia indigenous land. REUTERS/Ueslei...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" searches for illegal loggers on Arariboia indigenous land. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73RZY
September 20, 2019
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" drinks water from a tree branch. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" drinks water from a tree branch. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73S0F
September 20, 2019
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" sets fire to a loggers camp on Arariboia indigenous land. REUTERS/Ueslei...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" sets fire to a loggers camp on Arariboia indigenous land. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73RZJ
September 20, 2019
A Guajajara Indian and "forest guardian" lights a fire at a loggers camp. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
A Guajajara Indian and "forest guardian" lights a fire at a loggers camp. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73RZH
September 20, 2019
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" stands guard during a search for illegal loggers. REUTERS/Ueslei...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
A Guajajara Indian "forest guardian" stands guard during a search for illegal loggers. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/FOREST-GUARDIANS
RTX73RZA
September 20, 2019
A Guajajara Indian and "forest guardian" searches for illegal loggers on Arariboia indigenous land. REUTERS/Ueslei...
AMARANTE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Fighting fire with fire, Amazon 'forest guardians' stalk loggers
A Guajajara Indian and "forest guardian" searches for illegal loggers on Arariboia indigenous land. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
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