Critical Criminology

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 263–277 | Cite as

Deforestation Crimes and Conflicts in the Amazon

  • Tim Boekhout van Solinge


This article explores and explains deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. It primarily takes a green criminological perspective and looks at the harm that is inflicted on many of the Amazon’s inhabitants, including indigenous populations such as ‘uncontacted’ tribes of hunters-gatherers, the oldest human societies. The green criminological perspective also implies that the definition of victimisation is being enlarged: not only (future) humans, but also non-humans can be considered victims. Being the most biodiverse place on the planet, deforestation of the Amazon leads to threats and extinctions of animal and plant species. The main causes of deforestation in the Amazon are land conversion for agriculture (mainly cattle, also soy), practices that are mostly illegal. As the products of the (illegally) deforested rainforest in the Brazilian Amazon are mainly for export markets, western societies with large ecological footprints could be held responsible for deforestation of the Amazon.


Forest Community Indigenous Population Tropical Rainforest Tropical Deforestation Amazon Rainforest 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Associated Press. (2008). Brazil reveals ‘uncontacted’ Amazon tribe. Government decides to release photos to alert world to threat to Indians. New York: Associated Press.Google Scholar
  2. Beaumont, P. (2008). Secret of the ‘lost’ tribe that wasn’t. The Observer. June 22, 2008.Google Scholar
  3. Beirne, P., & South, N. (Eds.). (2007). Issues in green criminology. Confronting harms against environments, humanity and other animals. Devon: Willan.Google Scholar
  4. Boekhout van Solinge, T. (2002). Drugs and decision-making in the European Union. Amsterdam: Mets & Schilt.Google Scholar
  5. Boekhout van Solinge, T. (2008a). Eco-crime: The tropical timber trade. In D. Siegel & H. Nelen (Eds.), Organized crime. Culture, markets and policies (pp. 97–111). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Boekhout van Solinge, T. (2008b). Crime, conflicts and ecology in Africa. In R. Sollund (Ed.), Global harms. Ecological crime and speciesism (pp. 13–34). New York: Nova Science Publishers.Google Scholar
  7. Boekhout van Solinge, T. (2008c). The land of the Orangutan and bird of paradise under threat. In R. Sollund (Ed.), Global harms. Ecological crime and speciesism (pp. 51–70). New York: Nova Science Publishers.Google Scholar
  8. Boekhout van Solinge, T. (2010). Equatorial deforestation as a harmful practice and criminological issue. In R. White (Ed.), Global environmental harm. Criminological perspectives (pp. 20–36). Devon: Willan.Google Scholar
  9. Butchart, S. H. M., et al. (2010). Global diversity: Indicators of recent declines. Science, 328, 1164–1168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. CIMI—Conselho Indigenista Missionário. (2009). Violência contra os povos indígenas no Brasil. Brasilia: CIMI.Google Scholar
  11. CPT—Comissão Pastoral de Terra. (2009). Conflitos no campo Brasil 2008. Goiâna: CPT.Google Scholar
  12. de Mello, T., & Marigo, L. C. (2007). Amazonas. Patria da água–Amazonas Water Heartland. São Paulo: Editora Boccota. (publication in Portuguese and English).Google Scholar
  13. EIA and Telapak. (2004). Profiting from plunder: How Malaysia smuggles endangered wood. London: EIA.Google Scholar
  14. EIA and Telapak. (2005). The last frontier. Illegal logging in Papua and China’s massive timber theft. London: EIA.Google Scholar
  15. EIA and Telapak. (2006). Behind the Veneer: How Indonesia’s last rainforests are being felled for flooring. London: EIA.Google Scholar
  16. Gillison, D. (2002). New Guinea ceremonies. New York: Harry N. Abrams.Google Scholar
  17. Goulding, M., Barthem, R., & Ferreira, E. (2003). The Smithsonian Atlas of the Amazon. Washington & London: Smithsonian.Google Scholar
  18. Greenpeace Brazil. (2009). Amazon cattle footprint. Mato Grosso: State of destruction. Manaus/São Paulo: Greenpeace Brasil.Google Scholar
  19. Greenpeace International. (2003). State of conflict. An investigation into the landgrabbers, loggers and lawless frontiers in Pará State, Amazon. Amsterdam: Greenpeace International.Google Scholar
  20. Grudgings, S. (2008). Group denies misleading media over Amazon tribe, Reuters. Rio de Janeiro, 24 June 2008.
  21. ISA—Instituto Socioambiental. (2007). Almanaque Brasil Socioambiental 2008. São Paulo: ISA.Google Scholar
  22. Jackson, J. (2008). The thief at the end of the World: Rubber, power, and the seeds of Empire. New York: Viking.Google Scholar
  23. Kangaspunta, K., & Marshall, I. H. (Eds.). (2009). Eco-crime and justice. Essays on environmental crime. Turin: UNICRI.Google Scholar
  24. Leakey, R. E., & Lewin, R. (1996). The sixth extinction. Patterns of life and the future of humankind. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.Google Scholar
  25. London, M., & Kelly, B. (2007). The last frontier. The Amazon in the age of globalisation. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  26. Malhi, Y., Timmons Roberts, J., Betts, R. A., Killeen, T. J., Li, W., & Nobre, C. A. (2008). Climate change, deforestation, and the fate of the Amazon. Science, 319(5860), 169–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Meggers, B. J. (1971). Amazonia: Man and culture in a counterfeit paradise. Chicago: Aldine-Atherton.Google Scholar
  28. Mendes, C. (1989). Fight for the forest. Chico Mendes in his own words. London: Latin America Bureau.Google Scholar
  29. Pollan, M. (2008). In defence of food. The Myth of nutrition and the pleasure of eating. London/New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  30. Roosevelt, A. C. (1989). Lost civilizations of the Lower Amazon. Natural History, 74–83.Google Scholar
  31. Roosevelt, A. C., et al. (1996). Paleoindian Cave Dwellers in the Amazon: The peopling of the Americas. Science, 272(1996), 373–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Singer, P. (2004). One world. The ethics of globalization. New Haven & London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Sollund, R. (Ed.). (2008). Global harms. Ecological crime and speciesism. New York: Nova Science Publishers.Google Scholar
  34. South, N. (2007). The ‘corporate colonisation of nature’: Bio-prospecting, bio-piracy and the development of green criminology. In P. Beirne & N. South (Eds.), Issues in green criminology: Confronting harms against environments, humanity and other animals. Devon: Willan.Google Scholar
  35. Tsing, A. L. (2005). Friction. An ethnography of global connection. Princeton & Oxford: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Tudge, C. (2006). The tree. A natural history of what trees are, how they live and why they matter. New York: Crown Publishers.Google Scholar
  37. Verweij, P., Schouten, M., van Beukering, P., Triana, J., van der Leeuw, K., & Hess, S. (2009). Keeping the Amazon forests standing: A matter of values. Zeist: WWF Netherlands.Google Scholar
  38. White, R. (2008). Crimes against nature. Environmental criminology and ecological justice. Devon: Willan Publishing.Google Scholar
  39. White, R. (Ed.). (2010). Global environmental harm. Criminological perspectives. Devon: Willan.Google Scholar
  40. Wilson, E. O. (2002). The future of life. New York: Vintage (Random House).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Law and CriminologyUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations