Dear Reader

19 de abril de 2004

    Two articles in this edition show the sad reality of the world and, especially, Brazil: the terrible drama of children who live with their families in the urban garbage dumps and the perverse illegal traffic of animals. In the news article on the 50 thousand adolescents who live and work in the trash,… Ver artigo



Two articles in this edition show the sad reality of the world and, especially, Brazil: the terrible drama of children who live with their families in the urban garbage dumps and the perverse illegal traffic of animals. In the news article on the 50 thousand adolescents who live and work in the trash, helping their parents to find something that they can make money with and, even food remains, there is hope: the problem has a solution and with the aid of the UNICEF some experiments are being made throughout Brazil. The article is on pages 8, 9 and 10.

In the news article on the traffic of animals, a scaring number: the illegal commerce of animals is only behind the commerce of drugs and weapons. And more: this traffic is so sophisticated that today there is no need to transport the animals any longer. All that is needed is to carry the eggs from these animals. All about this is on pages 13, 14 and 15.


This edition also brings three articles that shake with the Brazilian strategical system: the old theory, each time newer, of making the Amazon an international territory, in similarity to the Antarctic region; the most controversial subject of this end of century: the production of transgenic products; and the high-tech trash produced by the discarding of toxic batteries of more than 10 million users of cell phones. The internationalization of the Amazon has taken space in the National Congress with speeches of the senators Bernardo Cabral (PFL-AM) and Gilberto Mestrinho (PMDB-AM); it reached the military quarters with the warning of General Luiz Gonzaga Lessa, Military Commander of the Amazon, saying that ” the invasion of the Amazon is serious subject, motivated by the protection of the environment “; and relit the alert sign with the interview of Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori, during the Cimeira in Rio de Janeiro, when confirming that the terrorist group Shining Path has started to act right next to Brazil, also involved with drug trafficking. More information on the invasion of the Amazon are on page 3 and 11.

Regarding the transgenics, it is known that the subject will cause further discussions.The Federal Senate called a meeting on “Cloning and Transgenics” and approved a set of suggestions, recommending prevention and precaution with transgenic products. The article is on page 7.

About the toxic trash of the different kinds of batteries, this seems to be a reality of underdevelopment: the services provided by urban sanitation, as well as the industries and the commerce are not equipped for this new and terrible type of pollutant. Pages 29 and 30.


But not everything is sadness and concern: Ecoturism shows that the beautiful city of the state of Minas Gerais, Diamantina should soon gain the title of Patrimony of the Humanity (pages 16 and 17);everything on the GPS, the compass of the 21st. Century (pages 21 and 22); and the names for the new Ministry of the Environment (pages 18 and 19).

With a good variety of subjects, the Folha do Meio arrives bringing a message for this end of century: open your arms for changes, but do not let go of your beliefs. Enjoy your reading!

Illegal traffic of wild animals grows and loses only to commerce of drugs and weapons

In Brazil, although being illegal, the traffic of wild animals only loses to the clandestine commerce of weapons and drugs, putting into motion about R$1 billion dollars per year in Brazil and R$10 billions in the whole world. The fact happens because we have the biggest biodiversity of the planet. We are the first country inspecies of mammals (524) and of this total, 131 species are exclusive. With so much variety, today we face the problem of having diverse mammals under the danger of becoming extinct, such as the wolf guará, the bandeira anteater, the Brazilian wildcat and the spotted jaguar. With this, Brazil is ranked the fourth country in number of threatened sucking species and it only loses for Indonesia, China and India. Regarding the birds, the same problem happens. We have 1622 species of birds, being that 103 of this total are threatened. The situation for birds is even worse for in this group the country only loses for Indonesia, that has 103 endangered species. One macaw can easily be sold for 5 thousand dollars. But some Brazilian species are so expensive, such as the blue macaw, that they can reach in the black market up to 80 thousand dollars.” This species is endangered and currently, only one can be found in nature. Sadly, although being typical Brazilian birds, the majority of them are in other countries and are there because they were smuggled out of Brazil “,explained Acosta.

” About 70% of the commerce is for internal consumption and the rest, is exported.”, he said. Acosta still explained, that the captures happen in places of great biodiversity such as the Pantanal, the North and Northeast regions.” Curiously, these are the poor areas of the country “, he added. ” Also, there are some very poor regions where the population survives directly by the illegal sale of animals. It is the example of BR 116, in the state of Bahia, next to the city of Feira de Santana “, the director said. On the side of the road, the mico star is sold for R$30 and a couple of parrots for R$20. The animal traffic network involves many people. After captured, the animal goes to the hands of some intermediate smugglers until it gets to the great traders who are in the Rio-São Paulo area. In the two capitals is where the biggest volume of sales happen. According to the zoo manager, in the great cities the animals have diverse destinations. ” When exported, the destination are normally Asia, Europe or The United States. ” It is common to find in the fair of Prague (Europe) Brazilians parrots for about R$4 thousand.”, he affirmed. ” One macaw that was captured for R$0,50 (value that the catcher makes) is sold there for eight thousand times more”.