Residents of Raposa Serra do Sol are determined to face down the threat posed by mining

“A united people will never be defeated!” shouted Maria Betânia Mota, as the indigenous assembly in a partially burned-out agricultural college began. Hundreds of voices roared back in approval.

Betânia Mota is the women’s secretary of its organisers, the Indigenous Council of Roraima (CIR), which represents the majority of those living in the 1.7m hectares of savannah and scrub that make up the Raposa Serra do Sol reserve in Brazil’s northernmost state.

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