NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Amazon Land Wars in the South of ParaThe South of Para, located in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, has become notorious for violent land struggle. Although land conflict has a long history in Brazil, and today impacts many parts of the country, violence is most severe and persistent here. The purpose of this article is to examine why. Specifically, we consider how a particular Amazonian place, the so-called South of Para has come to be known as Brazil's most dangerous badland. We begin by considering the predominant literature, which attributes land conflict to the frontier expansion process with intensified struggle emerging in the face of rising property values and demand for private property associated with capitalist development. From this discussion, we distill a concept of the frontier, based on notions of property rights evolution and locational rents. We then empirically test the persistence of place-based violence in the region, and assess the frontier movement through an analysis of transportation costs. The findings from the analyses indicate that the prevalent theorization of frontier violence in Amazonia does little to explain its persistent and pervasive nature in the South of Para. To fill this gap in understanding, we develop an explanation based the geographic conception of place, and we use contentious politics theory heuristically to elucidate the ways in which general processes interact with place specific history to engender a landscape of violence. In so doing, we focus on environmental, cognitive, and relational mechanisms (and implicated structures), and attempt to deploy them in an explanatory framework that allows direct observation of the accumulating layers of the region's tragic history. We end by placing our discussion within a political ecological context, and consider the implications of the Amazon Land War for the environment.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Simmons, Cynthia S.
(Michigan State Univ. East Lansing, MI, United States)
Walker, Robert T.
(Michigan State Univ. East Lansing, MI, United States)
Arima, Eugenio Y.
(Hobart and William Smith Coll. Geneva, NY, United States)
Aldrich, Stephen P.
(Michigan State Univ. East Lansing, MI, United States)
Caldas, Marcellus M.
(Kansas State Univ. Manhattan, KS, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2007
Publication Information
Publication: Annals of the Association of American Geographers
Volume: 97
Issue: 3
Subject Category
Geosciences (General)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits

Available Downloads

There are no available downloads for this record.
No Preview Available