The Amazonian rubber-tappers were invisible in the national scene in the 1970's. They started to organize themselves as an agrarian movement early in the 1980's and in the 1990's they obtained national recognizance, having the first Extractive Reserves being implemented right after Chico Mendes's assassination. Thus, these peasants of the tropical forest went from invisibility to paradigms of sustainable, participatory development in just two decades. This article narrates this historical episode by studying the trajectories of leaders, as well as the strategies employed by them in order to obtain visibility for the social movement both in national and international scale, connecting their agrarian claims to environmental issues of more general interest.
The Amazonian; Rubber-Tappers; Policies; Nature; Anthropology