The crimes, the Network, and the victims are best understood within the relevant historical context. That begins in the colonial period, advances through subsequent eras, takes a significant turn at the turn of the 21st Century, and culminates with the Bolsonaro administration. A common through line—competing claims for the country’s rural land and persistent debates over its uses—has defined and dominated the Brazilian political, legal, economic, and cultural landscape (in the Amazon and in the halls of power) for centuries.: a clash between two opposing views of rural land, how it should be defined, occupied, utilized, and ultimately how it should be valued in Brazilian society.

In Brazil this has unfolded with much violence and bloodshed. Indeed, the campos of the Amazon are scarred by conflict and littered with casualties. Rural Land Users and Defenders have endured grave abuses at the hands of the Network, whose superior strength and devious machinations often prevail. At the end of this real-life story are real-life victims and real-life criminals. It is, in the final analysis, a case of (international) crime without punishment.

The contextual background looks at the legal framework (‘Mosaic’), the influence of the agro-industrial complex (‘corporate capture’), the resulting environmental destruction (‘deforestation’), and the acts and policies of the Bolsonaro administration (‘Bolsonaro’) in the form of a Story Map.