Aerial photos from reconnaissance mission reveal effort to smuggle excavators into Brazil’s largest Indigenous territory

The surveillance plane eased off the runway and banked west towards the frontline of one of Brazil’s most dramatic environmental and humanitarian crises.

Its objective: a clandestine 120km (75-mile) road that illegal mining mafias have carved out of the jungles of Brazil’s largest Indigenous territory in recent months, in an audacious attempt to smuggle excavators into those supposedly protected lands.

“I call it the Road to Chaos,” said Danicley de Aguiar, the Greenpeace environmentalist leading the reconnaissance mission over the immense Indigenous sanctuary near the Brazilian border with Venezuela.

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