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A Man of the Amazon

In response to:

Out of Contact from the April 5, 2012 issue

To the Editors:

As someone who often traveled and worked with the late Nicolas Reynard in the Amazon for weeks at a time, I imagine that he would have been amused to find himself described in John Terborgh’s essay “Out of Contact” [NYR, April 5] as an “American with limited jungle experience.” Neither of those statements is correct. Nicolas was French, not American, and remained Parisian to his core even in the most grueling of circumstances. And while he may not have had Sydney Possuelo’s vast background in the Amazon—for that matter, who does?—Nicolas worked extensively on Indian reservations and peasant farm settlements and in logging and mining camps and cattle and Brazil nut plantations, and eventually settled in Manaus so as to be closer to Amazon developments. He and Sydney even survived a plane crash together. Unfortunately, Nicolas did not make it through a second crash, which took place over the Rio Negro while he was on assignment for Paris Match magazine, and died in November 2004, leaving behind a remarkable body of work documenting the Amazon jungle and the people who live in it.

Larry Rohter
Rio de Janeiro Bureau Chief, 1999–2007
The New York Times
New York City

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