• Agro
  • Civil Society
  • Disinformation
  • Exploitation & Control
  • Forests & Land Use
  • Geopolitics
  • Indigenous & Traditional Communities
  • Oil
  • Research
  • Violence
  • Water & Sanitation
  • Stakeholders
Xerente women create the first women’s forest fire brigade in the country

The brigade also helps to educate the local community about fire prevention

Credit: Reproduction

1 Nov 21

Xerente women create the first women’s forest fire brigade in the country

In the municipality of Tocantínia, Tocantins state, indigenous women from the Xerente indigenous people created the first female forest fire brigade in Brazil

The initiative came from residents of the Cachoeirinha village. In August, the community hosted a training course for 29 women, with support from the City Hall, the US Forest Service and the National Indian Foundation (Funai).

In addition to firefighting work, the group also performs environmental education actions in the region. “It is a job that all of us firefighters are enjoying. It’s a learning experience, because of the direct contact with older people, with young people and children. In this face to face work, we show the reality and what happens to nature when there is fire”, said Vanessa Xerente, 33 years old, resident of the Cachoeira Brejo de Ouro Village and head of the Xerente Women’s Brigade Squad. 

Sources:
Smoke Signal publishes report "Backwards with Bolsonaro" on the socio-environmental destruction during Bolsonaro’s three years in office
28 Oct 21

Smoke Signal publishes report “Backwards with Bolsonaro” on the socio-environmental destruction during Bolsonaro’s three years in office

Three years after Jair Bolsonaro’s election, Smoke Signal organized a comprehensive report that organized key points of the dismantling of socio-environmental governance and deforestation reduction policies in Brazil.

The bilingual dossier “Backwards with Bolsonaro – 30 years in Three” shows that the destruction is a political project announced since the elections and implemented from day one of Bolsonaro’s administration. The material was prepared using the over 450 articles published in our timeline since October, 2018.

The dossier will be launched while heads of state from hundreds of countries are gathering at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-26) to discuss how to stop the climate emergency. Brazil has been increasing its participation in the problem with the growth of pollutant emissions derived from deforestation and the carbonization of the energy matrix due to the water crisis — which are, in turn, linked to forest losses. 

Click here to read “JB Government: 30 years in 3” in Portuguese and here in English.

In 2020, Brazil ranks 4th in environmentalists murdered

Brazil ranked 3rd in 2019

Credit: Marcello Casal Jr/Agência Brasil

13 Sep 21

In 2020, Brazil ranks 4th in environmentalists murdered

According to a new report by Global Witness Brazil was the fourth deadliest country in the world for environmental and land rights activists, in 2020, Of the 277 lethal attacks in the period, 165 took place in Latin America, 20 of them in Brazil. Although the NGO highlights the likely underreporting of cases, this is the highest overall number since the survey began in 2012.

In Brazil, the violence was concentrated in the Amazon, the report indicates. Around 75% of the attacks occurred in the region, especially against indigenous people. Among them is Ari Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau, who worked denouncing illegal way extractors and was found dead with signs of torture on April 18, 2020, in the municipality of Jaru, state of Rondônia. The case remains unsolved.

“The Bolsonaro administration has prioritized extractive industries in the Amazon and Cerrado regions, and indigenous rights organizations and six Brazilian political parties have claimed that the Bolsonaro government’s mismanagement of COVID-19 could lead to a ‘genocide’ of Brazil’s indigenous peoples,” the NGO said on its website.

Sources:
2nd National March of Indigenous Women occupies the country’s capital

Indigenous women denounce the government anti-indigenous agenda

Credit: ANMIGA

7 Sep 21

2nd National March of Indigenous Women occupies the country’s capital

Organized by the National Articulation of Indigenous Women Warriors of Ancestry (ANMIGA) and the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil Network (Apib), the 2nd National March of Indigenous Women took over Brasilia during the week of September 7.

The event received four thousand participants, from more than 150 peoples. With the theme, “Indigenous Women: Reforesting Minds for the Healing of the Earth”, the event went until September 11th.

In a manifesto, the March reaffirmed the important role of indigenous women in the especially vulnerable context to which the Brazilian indigenous population is subjected by the government, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the current administration’s anti-Indigenous agenda. 

Among the agendas of the mobilization is the monitoring of the trial at the Federal Supreme Court (STF) that may overturn the ruralist “thesis” of the “Marco Temporal” [Temporal Milestone]. The repossession suit filed by the Santa Catarina government against the Xokleng people, with general repercussion, is under vote by the Supreme Court.

 

Sources:
Indigenous peoples of Brazil gather in the nation's capital to fight for land demarcation

Trial that could define the future of indigenous territories is scheduled to the 25th

Credit: Tiago Miotto/Cimi

23 Aug 21

Indigenous peoples of Brazil gather in the nation’s capital to fight for land demarcation

The indigenous people’s movement has begun a national mobilization to accompany the trial at the Federal Supreme Court (STF) that may define the future of indigenous land demarcation in Brazil. Scheduled for August 25, the hearing will deliberate on the Civil Action 1100, which will decide over the annulment of the demarcation of the Indigenous Land Ibirama Laklaño, of the Xokleng people, in Alto Vale do Itajaí, Santa Catarina state. Its result is decisive because it may or may not validate the fallacious “thesis” of the Marco Temporal, defended by the rural caucus. The thesis says that in order to be valid, a indigenous land needed to be fully occupied in 1988, when the Federal Constitution was approved. This violates indigenous population’s original right to land, besides the fact that the action has “general repercussion” status – which means that its result will be valid for other similar cases.

Set up in Brasilia until August 28, the “Fight for Life” camp seeks to “claim rights and promote acts against the anti-indigenous agenda that is underway in the National Congress and is promoted by the Federal Government”, according to the advisory board of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil Network (Apib).

Sources:
Indigenous Peoples Network denounce Bolsonaro for genocide at the International Crime Court

The suit was delivered in the 9th, International Indigenous Peoples Day

Credit: Leo Otero/Greenpeace

9 Aug 21

Indigenous Peoples Network denounce Bolsonaro for genocide at the International Crime Court

For the first time in history, indigenous people have appealed directly to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands, to denounce a government for genocide. The action against Jair Bolsonaro was filed by a group of indigenous lawyers led by Eloy Terena, representing the Indigenous People of Brazil Network (Apib), of which he is the legal coordinator.

“We believe that acts are underway in Brazil that can be seen as crimes against humanity, genocide and ecocide. Given the inability of the current justice system in Brazil to investigate, prosecute and judge this, we denounce these acts to the international community, mobilizing the International Criminal Court,” Terena said.

Since 2019, the indigenous people of in Brazil have suffered from a record increase in environmental crimes and cases of rights violations. Because of state negligence during the Covid-19 pandemic, there are nearly 58,142 confirmed cases of the disease among the indigenous population and 1,175 recorded deaths, according to Apib data updated on August 12, the largest of any demographic.

Sources:
UN urges Bolsonaro to fight “escalating violence" against Yanomami and Munduruku peoples

Document criticizes bill that could regulate mining in indigenous lands

Credit: Foto Ninja

28 Jul 21

UN urges Bolsonaro to fight “escalating violence” against Yanomami and Munduruku peoples

A letter sent to the Foreign Affairs Ministry (Itamaraty) on May 28, signed by eight UN special rapporteurs, demanded answers from Bolsonaro administration in the face of “escalating violence” against the Yanomami and Munduruku peoples. The latter came into public light last week.

The text draws attention to the case of the Tapajós basin, who’s is seeing a rampage of illegal gold digging, and also mentions the attack by gold miners on the Munduruku Wakoborũn Women’s Association, a group opposed to illegal mining on indigenous lands, in the municipality of Jacareacanga, southwest Pará, in March 2021.

Sources:
Police fires bombs at indigenous protesters at the National Indian Foundation

Protesters were fighting against bill that halts indigenous lands demarcation

Credit: Mídia Ninja

17 Jun 21

Police fires bombs at indigenous protesters at the National Indian Foundation

A protest of indigenous people at the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) was attacked with tear gas and pepper spray by the Military Police of Brasilia, the nation’s capital. The protest was set against Bill 490/2007, which makes the demarcation of indigenous lands almost impossible.

The mobilization was part of the “Levante Pela Terra” [Rise for Earth], which brings together about 800 indigenous people from over 35 ethnicities in protest against anti-indigenous measures. In a letter after the event, the protesters called for the removal of Marcelo Xavier from the presidency of FUNAI. “This is the worst management in the history of the Foundation, which no longer fulfills its function of protecting and promoting the rights of indigenous peoples, but rather negoatiates our lives and instrumentalizes them in favor of the interests of agribusiness and illegal mining,” says the text.

PL 490/2007 is being discussed in the Constitution and Justice Commission (CCJ) of the House of Representatives, chaired by Bia Kicis, a Bolsonarist congresswoman.

Sources:
Lawsuit against indigenous leader Sonia Guajajara filed by Funai is dismissed by Federal Court

Lawsuit was motivated by documentary about the indigenous peoples plight in the pandemic

Credit: Mídia Ninja

5 May 21

Lawsuit against indigenous leader Sonia Guajajara filed by Funai is dismissed by Federal Court

The Federal Court of the Federal District (DF) determined the closing of the investigation against the indigenous leader Sonia Guajajara opened by the Federal Police in March, as a result of denunciations made by Funai, state institution responsible for safekeeping indigenous rights in Brazil.

According to Funai, the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil Network (Apib), of which Guajajara is a coordinator, promoted a “campaign of slander and defamation” by sharing allegedly false information in the web series “Maracá – Indigenous Emergency”, launched in 2020, about the violations of indigenous peoples’ rights during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the decision favorable to the entity, Federal Judge Frederico Botelho de Barros Viana stated that Funai’s denunciations “do not bring any evidence, even the slightest, of the existence of abuse in the exercise of rights or of any kind of crime, either against third parties or the Union,” as reported by G1.

On social networks, Sonia Guajajara celebrated the result, thanked the support and said she will continue fighting alongside Apib. “They will not silence us,” she said.

Sources:
Catholic bishops from the Amazon sign letter against “Land Grabbing Bill”

After public pressure, the bill vote was postponed

Credit: Vinícius Mendonça/Ibama/via CC BY-SA 2.0

4 May 21

Catholic bishops from the Amazon sign letter against “Land Grabbing Bill”

Over 60 bishops from the Amazon region signed a letter against bill 510/2021, which could change the rules of landownership in federal areas. Known as the “Land Grabbing Bill”, critics say that the bill will provide amnesty to land grabbers and encourage the theft of public lands.

“Land title regularization in Brazil is extremely relevant and requires society’s attention. But, in an emergency like the one we face with the pandemic, there is no urgency or legal demand that justifies the return of a bill which legislates over such a complex issue, since the current legislation (Law 11.952/2009) already aids small and medium producers”, says an excerpt of the document delivered to the president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco.

Scheduled by Pacheco to be voted in April 28, the bill was the target of an online protest (#PL510No) on the eve of the vote, which was eventually postponed by the senator.

Sources:
Youth coalition files lawsuit against Salles for “trick” in carbon reduction goals

Ministry goals will liberate more GHG emissions instead of reducing

Credit: Daniel Beltrá/Greenpeace

14 Apr 21

Youth coalition files lawsuit against Salles for “trick” in carbon reduction goals

In an unprecedented move, a youth group sued Minister Ricardo Salles and former Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo due to the climate goals presented by the Ministry of the Environment to the Paris (MMA) Agreement at the end of 2020.

Contrary to what MMA claimed, the “new goals” of reducing by 43% the emission of greenhouse gases by 2030, actually allows the country to emit 400 million tons of greenhouse gases more than expected, according to an analysis by the Climate Observatory (OC). The “trick”, as the maneuver is being called in the press, occurs because the ministry used the same reduction percentage established five years ago, without considering the change in the calculation basis used.

According to Paulo Busse, the lawyer of the OC that represents the young activists, the goal of the lawsuit “is to make Brazil correct the current climate goal, which is lower than the original one and assume a more ambitious commitment that is faithful to the Paris Agreement and the Federal Constitution.”

Sources:
"Free Earth Camp" faces challenge of halting Covid-19 spread among indigenous peoples

The meeting is on it’s 17th edition

Credit: Apib

5 Apr 21

“Free Earth Camp” faces challenge of halting Covid-19 spread among indigenous peoples

Considered to be the largest indigenous event in the country, the Acampamento Terra Livre (ATL) (Free Earth Camp), organized by the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil Network (Apib), opened its 17th edition on April 5th. For the second year in online format, this year’s ATL has the theme “Our fight is still for life, it’s not just a virus”, regarding the title of the manifesto released by the association in March which faced the challenge to halt the advance of Covid-19 among the indigenous population.

The meeting takes place from April 5 to 30 and is part of “Indigenous April”, a period historically dedicated to the indigenous cause. The complete program is available on the organization’s website and will be broadcasted by Apib’s Facebook profile and by Mídia Índia and Mídia Ninja.

 

Bill targets illegal gold laundering in financial markets

Proposition wants to perfect ore origin tracing

Credit: Marcos Amend/Greenpeace

11 Mar 21

Bill targets illegal gold laundering in financial markets

In partnership with the Instituto Escolhas [Choices Institute], Senator Fabiano Contarato (Rede) forwarded to Congress a bill that discusses new mechanisms for monitoring and controlling commercial transactions that currently allow “gold laundering”, an operation that transforms illegally mined ore into apparently legal resources.

The proposal creates a public control system over the gold trade to reinforce the tracking of its origin and curb mining in forbidden areas, such as indigenous lands and Conservation Units. In a statement, Contarato lists the main points of the bill and reaffirms the importance of focusing on market surveillance. “The financial sector can help clean up the gold extraction sector in Brazil and prevent illegal metal from entering the market. Demanding certificates of legal origin and environmental compliance is a constitutional imperative and should be an ethical and moral commitment of the national financial sector,” he says.

Faced with the increased search for safer financial assets, such as gold, amid the financial crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Instituto Escolhas launched, in October last year, the campaign “Where does gold come from?” At the time, the NGO stressed that the ore boom in the international market has stimulated the advance of illegal mining in the Brazilian Amazon, a phenomenon widely denounced by NGOs and indigenous organizations over the past year.

Among them is the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil Network (Apib), which published in 2020 the survey “Complicity in the destruction – III”, about companies associated with the systematic devastation of indigenous territories. Last month, Apib received the resignation of the British mining company Anglo American, one of the companies cited in the document, to cease its activities on indigenous lands in the Amazon. The response was motivated by a petition created by the organization to pressure the company to withdraw applications for copper exploration in Munduruku territory.

Sources:
Organizations send open letter to the European Union opposing the EU-Mercosur treaty

Treaty could increase deforestation in Brazil

Credit: Christian Braga/Greenpeace

26 Feb 21

Organizations send open letter to the European Union opposing the EU-Mercosur treaty

A Brazilian Civil Society Organizations Front against the Mercosur-EU Agreement, composed by over 100 organizations, sent an open letter to the president of the Council of the European Union, Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa, and to the ambassadors of the European Union and Portugal in Brazil, Ignácio Ybáñez and Luís Faro Ramos, in which they point out the social and environmental damage that Brazil may suffer if the European Union ratifies the treaty.

They state that the agreement has a “neocolonial characteristic” and stimulates “three important factors of deforestation” in the country, by stimulating the increase in the production of agricultural and mineral commodities and encouraging the expansion of the use of logistic equipment.

“We understand that this Agreement, besides contributing to an escalation of human and social and environmental rights violations, could block Brazil’s development. Therefore, we appeal to the good sense of the international community in order to prevent its ratification.”

Sources:
Justice Fachin issues vote against eviction of quilombola communities during the pandemic

Brazil doesn’t have so far a specific plan for the protection of Afro-brazilian traditional communities

Credit: Walisson Braga/via CPT

18 Feb 21

Justice Fachin issues vote against eviction of quilombola communities during the pandemic

In a suit by the National Coordination of Articulation of Rural Black Quilombola [Afro-Brazilian traditional communities] (Conaq) in the Federal Supreme Court (STF), Justice Edson Fachin diverged from the rapporteur of the case, Justice Marco Aurélio, and voted for the suspension of eviction actions against traditional communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Filed in September 2020, jointly with the PSB, PSOL, PCdoB, REDE and PT parties, the Argument of Noncompliance with a Fundamental Precept (ADPF) 742/2020 requires the Union to create and implement a national plan to combat the Covid-19 pandemic in quilombola communities. The requested deadline was 30 days, however nothing has been done until now. “After almost a year of the pandemic (…), the State still has not prepared unified measures to prevent families, especially from vulnerable groups such as quilombolas, from being expelled from their territories during the serious epidemiological crisis that the country is going through,” says a note from the Pastoral Land Commission on Fachin’s decision.

Sources:
Federal Court closes investigation against voluntary fire fighters in Alter do Chão

Activists were accused of starting fires in the region in 2019

Credit: Brigada de Incêndio de Alter do Chão/Reproduction

18 Feb 21

Federal Court closes investigation against voluntary fire fighters in Alter do Chão

At the request of the Federal Public Prosecution (MPF), a Federal Court closed the investigation about the causes of the fires that occurred in September 2019 in the district of Alter do Chão, in Santarém (Pará state), which led to the unjustified arrest of four voluntary firefighters who worked in the region. According to a note from the MPF, there was an “impossibility of determining the authorship of the crime”. “We found that the fire originated in three different locations and reached an area of 1.2 thousand hectares, but we discovered no basic evidence that could lead to the authorship of the crime,” the text says.

In November 2019, following an investigation that pointed to NGOs as responsible for starting the fire, the Pará Civil Police carried out the preventive arrest of the four members of the Alter do Chão Fire Brigade, in addition to carrying out a search warrant at the headquarters of the NGO Saúde & Alegria Project, an organization recognized worldwide for its work in the Amazon. Back then, the civil society received with astonishment and indignation the news and mobilized to prove the activists’ innocence. 

Sources:
Biden receives document asking for the suspension of commercial exchange between Brazil and USA

Biden received the document through an aide

Credit: via Gage Skidmore/ via CC BY-SA 2.0

3 Feb 21

Biden receives document asking for the suspension of commercial exchange between Brazil and USA

Scholars from universities in the US, international NGOs such as Greenpeace, and Brazilian organizations such as the Indigenous Peoples Network of Brazil (Apib) delivered a 31-page dossier calling for a thorough review of the US relationship with Brazil. The document points out Donald Trump’s role in “legitimizing Bolsonaro’s authoritarian tendencies” and asks for the restriction of the purchase of lumber, meat and soy, as a response to the high deforestation rates in the country.

The document also mentions minorities, indigenous peoples, democracy, police violence and calls for a revision of the text that allows the commercial exploitation of the Alcântara Space Base in Maranhão, which threatens quilombola [Afro-brazilian traditional communities] territories.

“Anyone in Brazil or elsewhere who thinks they can promote an ambitious relationship with the U.S. while ignoring important issues like climate change, democracy and human rights, clearly has not heard Joe Biden during the campaign,” said Juan Gonzalez, Biden’s advisor who brought the dossier to the core of the government, according to BBC News Brazil.

Sources:
NGO launches multimedia feature about violence against landless workers, indigenous people and environmentalists

Survey by Repórter Brasil gathers data from the first year of Bolsonaro’s administration

Credit: Daniel Beltrá/Greenpeace

30 Jan 21

NGO launches multimedia feature about violence against landless workers, indigenous people and environmentalists

The multimedia feature “Cova Medida” [Measured Graves], developed by Repórter Brasil, after a report by the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), provides an overview of the violence against landless workers, indigenous and environmental activists in 2019. The survey portrays the 31 murders recorded in the first year of the Bolsonaro adminstration, marked by the struggle for agrarian justice and the impunity of their authors.

Territorial dispute (39%) and defense of indigenous territories (29%) are among the primary motivations for the crimes. There’s also reports of casulaties related to the defense of the environment, labor issues, denunciation of illegalities and even hate crimes. The victims are mostly men (93%), inhabitants of the Legal Amazon (87%), linked to the landless movements (35%) or indigenous people who died defending their land (25%).

After one year of deaths, 61% of investigations are in a halt, and there are no convictions, says the NGO.

According to CPT, there was a 23% increase in the number of conflicts in the field between 2018 and 2019. According to Repórter Brasil, the former Environment Minister, Marina Silva, points out the conniving posture of the president. “The assassins felt that they have a license to kill. They listen to the government’s speech against indigenous people, environmentalists, extractivists and feel right at home, while the victims are helpless and unprotected,” she said.

The increase coincides with the paralysis of the demarcation of indigenous lands – a “promise” made during the elections and which has been fulfilled – and the agrarian reform in Brazil by Jair Bolsonaro. For 2021, the budget of INCRA – the agency responsible for agrarian reform policy – has been reduced by 90%.

Sources:
Pau d’Arco massacre: four years after police killed 10 rural workers, victims lawyer is arrested and key witness is murdered

The Justice system has yet to punish the murderers

Credit: CPT/Reproduction/via Revista Forum

28 Jan 21

Pau d’Arco massacre: four years after police killed 10 rural workers, victims lawyer is arrested and key witness is murdered

José Vargas Sobrinho Junior, human rights defender and lawyer for the survivors of the Pau d’Arco Massacre – a civil and military police action that killed ten landless workers in 2017 in Pará state – was arrested on the first day of the year, in the city of Redenção, points out a report by the NGO Repórter Brasil. The imprisonment happened because of an “extremely fragile” accusation, his lawyer says, and it was related to the disappearance of Cícero José Rodrigues de Souza, a politician. Vargas was released on January 25, but remains under house arrest.

The day after Vargas’ release, Fernando Santos do Araújo, considered a key-witness to the massacre, was executed in his home in the Jane Júlia settlement in the municipality of Pau D’arco. In a public letter, the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), together with several organizations, points that his killing is an attack on all who fight for the right to land. “Fernando died. The shot that victimized him also made other victims. It hit all of us who fight for the right to land in Pará, the Amazon and in the country. His death forces us to ask: Who killed Fernando? Who had Fernando killed?”, says the text.

The civil and military police officers accused of the murder of the ten rural workers of the Pau d’Arco Massacre are still at free and on the streets while they wait for the trial.

Sources:
Indigenous organizations protest against bill that authorizes gold digging in Roraima, exempt previous analysis

Indigenous leaders deliver letter of denouncement to public prosecution

Credit: Obind/Reproduction

21 Jan 21

Indigenous organizations protest against bill that authorizes gold digging in Roraima, exempt previous analysis

Indigenous organizations have presented a formal complaint against the Bill of Law 201/2020, authored by Roraima state government, which allows gold digging permits with previous analysis. The denouncement was presented to Federal and State Prosecution. 

A special commission of the State Congress voted unanimously in favor of the bill by Roraima State Governor Antonio Denarium that liberates the mining activity in Roraima “without prior analysis,” points out an article by the G1. The bill, called PL 201/2020 does not detail which ores and territories it affects. It also allows, through an amendment by congressional representative Éder Lourinho, the use of mercury in the activities, responsible for serious social and environmental damage.

While Denarium speaks of “allying mining with sustainability,” the Indigenous Council of Roraima (CIR), as well as other organizations, are contrary to the proposal and calls for its withdrawal from vote. In a statement, the CIR recalled the indigenous struggle against the invasion of their lands in the state, like in the Raposa do Sol and Yanomami Indigenous Lands, and said the project is an “attack on the environment“. “To approve PL 201 is to legalize the destruction of forests, pollution of rivers, lakes, streams and our rich land, which is home to thousands of animals, birds, fish and all kinds of living beings”.

Sources:

59 news

Link successfully copied!