Guardians of the Amazon: Sailing for Justice in the Heart of the Rainforest | Full Documentary

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For 13 years, judge Sueli Pini has been traveling every two months from the provincial capital of Macapá to the remote villages on the Amazon Delta on a justice ship.

The Brazilian state still does not know exactly how many people live in the Amazon, as many have neither passports nor birth certificates. They live in inaccessible hamlets and villages to which there is no road. These people are invisible to the authorities: they have no access to social benefits, the healthcare system or the justice system. It is as if they do not even exist. "These people have been ignored and simply forgotten by the Brazilian state for many years," says judge Sueli Pini. With her justice ship, she brings a whole bundle of state services to the population in the northern Amazon. The steamer houses a court with a public prosecutor, bailiffs and public defenders, a medical team with a dentist, doctor and nurses and a passport office with officials and ID forms.

Judge Sueli Pini has to fight for each of her trips: "Even greater than the geographical distance are the cultural distances we have to bridge. Most of my colleagues and superiors have never been here, so they can't appreciate how important our trips are for the local people and for the Brazilian state." So far, she has been able to assert herself - and thus make her contribution to protecting the inhabitants of the rainforest.