Deforestation rates have doubled in the Amazon
Brazil's far-right president
(Bolsonaro) has embraced the destruction of this
precious environmental resource in favor of increased
Meanwhile, the indigenous people who populate the forest
remain largely voiceless and victimized.
is, with the exception of one group - a secretive team
known as the Guardians - who hunt down loggers who
illegally pillage their home land and bring them to
the tense documentary 'Guardians of the Amazon,' ABC
News embeds a camera crew with this group as they embark
on a series of raids in the jungle.
Armed with rifles, machetes and bullet proof vests, the
Guardians utilize maps, satellite images and good
old-fashioned detective work to search for the signs of
Their thirst for retribution is understandable; for as
long as many of them can recall, the loggers have pushed
them from their homes, cut down their trees, and
transformed their plush lands into barren cattle
than 1/3 of their lands have been destroyed, and the
intrusion of the logging and cattle communities show
little signs of slowing.
Not all villagers are as adamant in their efforts to
stop encroaching industry. In fact, some tribes accept a
nominal fee to look the other way.
the Guardians are a different breed.
put their lives on the line to protect their land, which
they view as a birthright for their children and
Cameras capture the clan as they track down and
interrogate potential loggers at gun point.
eventually happen upon an informer who agrees to guide
them to larger operations. A palpable sense of dread and
danger blanket their every step through the jungle.
the conclusion of their journey, they will suffer grave
injuries and even a fatality.
The president's (Bolsonaro) public rhetoric evokes a
disturbing apathy to their plight. The filmmakers'
attempts to hold the government's feet to the fire only
results in denials.
A terrific work of investigative journalism, 'Guardians
of the Amazon' places you in the center of a volatile
conflict and gives voice to the warriors who struggle on
its front lines.
Directed by: Brian Epstein