Floating justice

The city of Macapá is in the middle of a river archipelago with around 50 villages and 14,000 inhabitants, where the Amazon meets the Atlantic Ocean. Some of these communities are almost impossible to reach, with dense mangroves and fluctuating water levels making the journey dangerous. For a long time, conflicts were resolved by local leaders, from theft, to land disputes, to rape. The machete was often the quickest recourse to justice. Judge Sueli Pini visited Macapá 20 years ago. Seeing the problem, she founded a system that’s unique in the world, the “floating court.”