Political violence and mobilisation in Brazil’s Amazonian region during Bolsonaro’s government (2019-2022)

Roxana Pessoa Cavalcanti, Guilherme Benzaquen, Simone da Silva Ribeiro Gomes, Victor Porto Almeida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, Brazil has experienced rising violence against activists and increasing deforestation levels in the Amazon. The processes leading to those events are not new. However, various discourses and events have intensified and underpinned extractive interests during Bolsonaro’s government. Hence, this article analyses the relationship between the State and activists in the Brazilian Amazon region between 2019 and 2022. It focuses on three regional paradigmatic case studies: (1) the ongoing gold miners’ (garimpeiros) invasion of the Yanomami territory; (2) the arrest of four environmentalists accused of setting fire to the forest in 2019; and (3) the murder of the journalist Dominic Phillips and the Indigenist Bruno Pereira in 2022. The case studies utilise publicly available data from reports, interviews, press releases and newspaper articles. Our main objective is to provide an overview of the characteristics of an increasingly antagonistic relationship between activists and the State. Drawing on those cases, the article builds on mobilisation theories, particularly Political Process Theories. Our central argument is that there are evident differences in the forms of repression activists face during far-right governments. This context shapes activism distinctively in the Amazonian region because violence routinely challenges social and environmental justice activism. Moreover, the current violence points to broader social questions and struggles between activists and agents of repression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-170
Number of pages19
JournalJustice, Power and Resistance
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2023


  • Violence
  • Brazilian Amazon
  • Mobilisation
  • far-right
  • State


Dive into the research topics of 'Political violence and mobilisation in Brazil’s Amazonian region during Bolsonaro’s government (2019-2022)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this