Its Bark Is Worse, and That Bites
Last month, Mexican officials learned their country is losing its forests at a rate of nearly 3 million acres a year, or nearly twice the clip previously thought; now, they’re blaming the heavy deforestation on impoverished indigenous farmers in Chiapas, who slash and burn the jungle to scrape out their meager living. The long history of mistrust and violence between the government and indigenous people in Chiapas, the country’s poorest state, makes it particularly tough to negotiate a compromise between the national and international interest in protecting the environment and the local exigencies of survival. At stake is the fate of critical habitat, including the Lacandon rainforest, the most biologically diverse jungle after the Amazon.
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