Agence France-PresseAugust 20, 2013 22:45
When farmer Luiz Martins Neto first moved to Sao Felix do Xingu a quarter of a century ago, the area had virgin forest, gold and a reservation for the local indigenous people.
"They used to say it was the best place to live," he said.
But like many others, he created his first fazenda -- coffee plantation -- with slash and burn techniques, helping to destroy his pristine surroundings.
"In those days, the more you cleared the forest, the better your life was and the more land you acquired," the 54-year-old said.