Document Type


Publication Date



Published in: Boletin De Anthropologia, Volume 27, Issue 44, 2014


Four decades ago, Brazilian officials plotted designs for colonization and resource extraction in Amazonia; subsequently the region has become a test-lab for successive development regimes. Along the Santarém-Cuiabá Highway (Br-163) in the state of Pará, residents have engaged in a range of licit and illicit activities as official development policy has shifted throughout the years. Despite assertions that living along the unpaved road is tantamount to “being stuck” in place and time, residents move widely throughout the region, using the road, trails, streams, and rivers as thoroughfares. I argue that “being stuck” functions as a discursive label for illegible mobilities and the speculative economies they support as agrarian reform clients, ranchers, and others compete for position in anticipation of the road’s paving. Novel forms of resource speculation result from the labor of moving and maintaining anticipatory structures along the road, a process that remains obscure from state development projects.