Fifty years ago, the Amazon was still largely intact. Then in 1964, Brazil passed a law to encourage landless peasants to leave the slums and develop the interior. Anyone who could demonstrate that land was being put to "effective use" would get a title to it. As a result, the native forest-dwellers began to be displaced, and newcomers started clearing large areas for cattle production and rubber tapping.
[Photograph by: Rhett Butler/Mongabay]