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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(6), 5862-5885;

The Expansion of the Economic Frontier and the Diffusion of Violence in the Amazon

National School of Public Health (ENSP)-Fiocruz, Street Leopoldo Bulhões, 1480—Manguinhos, Rio de Janeiro 21041-210, Brazil
Information Laboratory Health-LIS, Laboratory GIS, Avenue Brasil, 4365 Pavilhão Hai ty Moussatché, Sala 231-Manguinhos, Rio de Janeiro 21045-900, Brazil
Space and Territory Health Laboratory, Department of Geography, University Paris Ouest Nanterre Defense, 200 Avenue, Republic Nanterre, Paris 92000, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 13 February 2015 / Accepted: 17 April 2015 / Published: 27 May 2015
PDF [8114 KB, uploaded 27 May 2015]


Over the last few decades, the occupation of the Amazon and the expansion of large-scale economic activities have exerted a significant negative impact on the Amazonian environment and on the health of the Amazon’s inhabitants. These processes have altered the context of the manifestation of health problems in time and space and changed the characteristics of the spatial diffusion of health problems in the region. This study analyzed the relationships between the various economic processes of territorial occupation in the Amazon and the spatial diffusion of homicidal violence through the configuration of networks of production, as well as the movements of population and merchandise. Statistical data on violence, deforestation, the production of agricultural items, and socio-economic variables, georeferenced and available for the 771 municipalities of the Legal Amazon were used in this study. The results suggest that the diffusion of violence closely follows the economic expansion front, which is related to deforestation and livestock production but has little relation to grain production, demonstrating steps and typologies of recent occupation in the Amazon that promote violence. These spatial patterns reveal environmental and socio-economic macro-determinants that materialize in geographic space through the construction of highways and the formation of city networks. View Full-Text
Keywords: pioneer area; spatial diffusion of disease; violence; spatial analysis pioneer area; spatial diffusion of disease; violence; spatial analysis

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Souza, P.F.; Xavier, D.R.; Rican, S.; De Matos, V.P.; Barcellos, C. The Expansion of the Economic Frontier and the Diffusion of Violence in the Amazon. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 5862-5885.

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