The construction of Bandeirantes road directly impacted the Guarani territory by separating Guarani houses and families on different sides. It also polluted water, interrupted rivers, and disrupted access to medicinal plants, crafts materials, and material for the construction and repair of houses. Roads also disrupted the habitat of other-than-human inhabitants such as boars and armadillos. Illustration by the author
History of Atlantic Forest deforestation on Jaraguá Peak from 1960 to 2010. Data Sources: Satellite images from 1960, 1980, 2010, Geosampa.
Since the 1960s television towers have been emitting electromagnetic waves from the peak, serving big media groups, government companies, and military services. All the land cessions were established without paying any compensation for using and degrading the surrounding Atlantic Forest. Illustration by the author
For the Guarani Mbya, ka’aguy (Atlantic Forest) is sacred. Yet, only 12 percent of the Atlantic Forest
original coverage remains. A portion of that is in Jaraguá Peak. The Peak is also the highest point
within São Paulo, located in the northwest region of the city. Anyone who lives in São Paulo knows
Jaraguá Peak as a point of visual reference—the only forested area rising above dense urbanism. Two
hundred years ago, São Paulo was ka’aguy. Now, the city occupies part of Guarani territory, which
spans across the borders of what is now known as Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. São
Paulo exists entirely within Guarani territory.
São Paulo’s urban growth and the expansion of infrastructural networks (roads, power lines, dams) have disrupted Guarani infrastructures (the presence of Atlantic Forest, the continuity of
paths between Guarani villages, access to clean water). The three busiest roads in São Paulo—the
first began in 1940—cut through the peak area. Since the roads opened for car use, urban growth,
starting on the roads’ borders, have encroached continuously on the Atlantic Forest. The São Paulo
state government also transformed the peak into a state park for tourism, 60% of which overlaps
Jaraguá Indigenous Land, demarcated for the Guarani. Two telecommunication towers installed at
the top of the peak in the 1960s broadcast electromagnetic pollution over the Atlantic Forest and its
inhabitants. Nonetheless, Guarani communities in São Paulo remake Guarani geographies every day,
resisting Atlantic Forest encroachment and circumventing colonial networks. Guarani communities
in the north and south of São Paulo hold a crucial infrastructural and environmental role for the
entire city, increasing São Paulo’s environmental security by recovering degraded soils and
recuperating Atlantic Forest areas.
This project maps the history of infrastructural expansion in Jaraguá Peak. It represents the history of each infrastructural layer (roads, telecommunication towers, power lines) in sectional maps
that expose long-term changes on the ground. Each map accompanies a set of case studies that
received reparations for infrastructural harm. Maps and case studies are organized in appendix-tools,
which can serve as detachable documents from the larger body of the thesis. Each appendix-tool
(infrastructural reparations cases for reference, activist mapping, and public engagement strategies)
aspires to contribute to Guarani activism.