A thin plume of smoke rises above the lush canopy of the Apyterewa Indigenous Territory, deep in the Brazilian Amazon. A couple of men feed the flames engulfing a wooden bridge serving as a gateway into the vast territory. On the other side, uniformed agents tasked with protecting the territory look on helplessly as the fire severs their access. Nearby, an angry mob closes in on another handful of agents, firings guns into the air and hurling insults. “We are not going to back down, no,” one man can be heard saying in a video of the incident, which took place outside an enforcement post in Apyterewa last week. “We’re going to burn your cars!” Image from video of protest in Apyterewa Indigenous Territory courtesy of Jornal da Record: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ie463nPeLXE Apyterewa stretches across 773,820 hectares (1.9 million acres) in the Amazonian state of Pará, nestled in the municipality of São Félix do Xingu, Brazil’s ranching heartland. After a decade-long struggle, it was officially demarcated as a protected Indigenous territory in 2007, exclusively for the use of the Paracanã people who’ve called it home for generations. But across the territory, outsiders are building communities — complete with churches, schools, shops and clinics — even though they have no legal right to the land. Indigenous rights advocates say illegal loggers, miners, soy farmers and cattle ranchers are invading this territory with unprecedented force, as they seek to exploit its riches. “Activity had stopped for a while — but the deforestation has now…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer