Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/10/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Region may lose all of its cattle as the herds go without food.

A long-term drought is wiping out ranches and threatening to destroy entire communities in Brazil. The 19-month drought has deprived northeastern Brazil of significant rainfall resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of animals and igniting conflict between people competing for scarce water supplies.

Cattle die in droves as an oppressive drought stretches into its 19th month.

Cattle die in droves as an oppressive drought stretches into its 19th month.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

12/10/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Drought, Brazil, rain, water, wars, conflict

BRASILIA, BRAZIL (Catholic Online) - The drought is the most significant in the region in 50 years and many inhabitants are reduced to praying for rain, with little other recourse. Cattle ranches, which are common in the area, have seen unprecedented die-offs of herds as animals are left without food to eat.

Many ranchers have been forced to sell all or most of their herds to buy food for their remaining cattle - food that the cattle sometimes refuse because they are unaccustomed to eating processed grain.

What happens to the cattle matters because much of the northeast's economy is dependent on the cattle. Beef, milk, and leather come from the region and supply much of the country. Now, as herds perish in the heat, supplies of those good are rapidly dwindling.

Locals have even started to fight over water supplies, igniting conflicts referred to as "water wars." An average of one person per day has been killed in these conflicts across the region.

Meanwhile, the government has diverted money from an ambitious, but stalled irrigation project to provide some emergency relief to farmers and ranchers.

The irrigation project would bring water across the country to the devastated region, but the project has been hampered by bureaucracy and corruption. At the same time, reservoirs are running dry. As water truck drivers make their deliveries, they often participate in the corruption too - refusing to deliver water in some cases unless locals promise to vote for certain political candidates.

Persistent drought is a feature of the Earth's dynamic climate and it is unclear just what causes droughts in some places and floods in others. Certainly, global climate change has some effect, but even without climate change, long-term, persistent droughts are always happening somewhere.

Drought is one of the great destroyers of civilizations with historic droughts being blamed by some historians for the downfall of great civilizations such as the Sumerians in the Middle East and the Maya in the Yucatan.

In Brazil, the great tragedy is that the people have the means to alleviate the drought, by completing the network of canals that will deliver water to their farms and ranches, but they cannot accomplish this because of other domestic concerns.

For the time, the fate of hundreds of thousands of cattle, and the lives of the people who depend on them, remains very much in doubt.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Americas

Donald Trump's head, specifically his head, is now worth $100 million Watch

Image of This head is worth a cool $100 million, a fact which can only make it bigger.


Donald Trump's head, specifically his head, is now worth $100 million. Sinaloa drug cartel boss, EL Chapo Guzman has reportedly increased the bounty on Trump, asking him to be delivered "dead or alive." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - El Chapo is the leader of the ... continue reading

Two of Mexico's most dangerous criminal imprisoned on U.S. soil Watch

Image of Forty-two-year-old Valdez, who also goes under the name of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two of Mexico's most violent and dreaded criminals are now imprisoned on U.S. soil. Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez Villarreal and Jorge Eduardo "El Coss" Costilla Sanchez are among the most notorious of 13 suspects sent to the U.S. in an unusually high-level judicial ... continue reading

Cuban President pressured by Obama to make moves Watch

Image of


President Barack Obama has broadened opportunities for Americans to spend money, travel, and open businesses in Cuba following two rounds of regulatory reforms since December. While America has been on the move, it seems Cuba has limited its movements to reopening its ... continue reading

Cuba's homeless mysteriously vanish prior to the papal visit Watch

Image of Cuba's homeless vanish before Pope Francis' visit and reemerge just as mysteriously afterward.


The streets of eastern Holguin, Cuba are now flooded with homeless people, following Pope Francis's visit; the homeless went missing during the Pope's tour of the country. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dozens of homeless now re-flood the streets of eastern ... continue reading

First U.S. Hispanic Saint: Pope Francis to canonize Junipero Serra during U.S. visit Watch

Image of Father Junipero Serra's canonization will

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis and the Vatican have announced plans to canonize the Blessed Junipero Serra during the Pope's visit to the United States on September 23. Serra will become the United States' first Hispanic saint. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Often times, the ... continue reading

The 'silent genocide' of the Brazilian Guarani tribe Watch

Image of Guarani tribe members were promised land in 1993 and have yet to see it, so they fight (Survival International).

By Talia Ramos

One of the oldest tribes in South America, the Guarani Indian tribe, was displaced after ranchers claimed their lands, forcing them to sleep on roadsides. Due to their persecution from the politically-powered land owners, the surviving Guarani people have been asking ... continue reading

South American femicide continues to increase at shockingly high rates Watch

Image of Rape, murder, and kidnapped victims in Mexico continues to increase.


Aidé Nava, a mayoral candidate and mother from Ahuacuotzingo Village in Mexico was found decapitated on the streets of her own town. Gangsters are believed to be behind several kidnappings where women are tortured, raped and decapitated.  MUNTINLUPA CITY, ... continue reading

Why Pope Francis' last speech in Cuba was a masterstroke of genius Watch

Image of Pope Francis has become a political force to be reckoned with.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis concluded his visit to Cuba by delivering a masterful speech calling for a new revolution in the socialist country. He delivered his speech just before departing on Tuesday. Though steeped in religious tones, the call to action is courageous and clear. LOS ... continue reading

'It's like a sign of God': Costa Rican community amazed by unusual cloud formation Watch

Image of Beautiful display of cloud iridescence.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Last Tuesday a cloud phenomenon occurred in Costa Rica, leaving people both mystified and horrified. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - Several cities such as San Jose, Parrita, Pavas, Escazu and Hatillo reported the colorful cloud anomaly. Hundreds posted ... continue reading

Pope Francis wasn't the first to visit Cuba - what happened during previous Papal visits? Watch

Image of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI meets with Fidel Castro (L'Osservatore Romano Vatican-Pool/Getty Images).

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is the third pope to visit Cuba. Who were the first two and why did they decide to visit? LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II each made the trip to Cuba in 2012 and 1998 respectively.TIME called John Paul's ... continue reading

All Americas News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Malachi 3:13-20
13 'You have said harsh things about me, says Yahweh. ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:5-13
5 He also said to them, 'Suppose one of you has a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 8th, 2015 Image

St. Pelagia
October 8: Pelagia, more often called Margaret, on account of the ... Read More