Brazil: Suburbia in the Jungle

In the matted green jungles of Brazil's primitive Amazon valley territory of Amapá sits a surprising little town. With its broad, paved streets, ranch-style houses, well-stocked supermarket and air-conditioned club, it looks more like a suburb of New York or Los Angeles than a settlement in the wilderness. It is the town of Serra do Navio (pop. 2,200), and it is run by a company that has become a Latin American model of profitable cooperation between local and foreign capital.

The company is ICOMI (for Indústria e Comércio de Minérios), which is owned...

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