The Trans Amazonian Highway, BR-230, was a grand infrastructure project implemented by the military junta in 1972. It is 4000 kilometres long, but just north of Marabá in Pará State, as the road heads west to Itaituba and beyond into the pristine Amazon, the paved surface gives way to red mud which becomes impassable during the rainy season.
As the road forged its relentless path, access roads branching off into the forest provided ingress into otherwise impenetrable forest. The government motto of the day was "land without men for men without land". But these access roads became the surge behind illegal logging. And the more that were built for the ‘landless’, the more the trees went with them.
If you look at BR-230 from space you can see this single highway with a thousand branches - and each road spawns another and takes more forest with it.
In Brazil, they call it ‘The Spine of the Fish’.
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