After four indigenous people of the Tembé ethnic group were shot during a mission by the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) in Tomé-Açu (PA) in recent days, the body issued tough recommendations against the multinational Brasil BioFuels (BBF). Among them, banks suspend financing to the company and that the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (Mapa) suspend the BBF Social Biofuel Seal (SBS).
There are records that the company, which exploits palm oil in the region, is in constant conflict with indigenous and traditional peoples in the municipalities of Acará and Tomé-Açu, in Pará.
:: After being shot, the Tembé people denounce Brasil BioFuels’ criminalizing campaign ::
On August 4, Kauã Tembé was hit during a conflict with company guards and military police. On Monday (7), two young women, Daiane Tembé and Erlane Tembé, and a 23-year-old boy, Felipe Tembé, were hit. The latter was even arrested before receiving medical attention, despite having been shot in the back.
Questioned, the Secretariat of Public Security and Social Defense of Pará (Segup) informed that it detained him to investigate damage caused in a private building.
:: Chief active against the advance of Brasil BioFuels in the territory of the Tembé people is shot in Pará ::
After the incident, the CNDH asked for the mobilization of different bodies in Recommendation no. 16/2023. Among the main ones are:
– That the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (Mapa) review and suspend the Social Biofuel Seal (SBS) granted to BBF “considering the social and environmental liabilities linked and reputed to the company that is the object of numerous criminal lawsuits and Public Civil Actions ongoing”;
– That the Ministry of Justice withdraw the operating authorization of the company MTS Segurança Ltda, which performs the BBF property security service;
– That the banks in Brazil, Amazônia, Genial, Itaú, John Deere and Safra initiate administrative processes to investigate contractual violations and suspend financing or loans made to BBF for “probable violation of the Equator Principles, regarding socio-environmental practices and violation to the Human and Territorial Rights of indigenous peoples, quilombolas, riverside communities, farmers and agroextractivists”;
– That the BBF present a work plan to conform its conduct within 15 days, stop the use of lethal weapons in its private security and change its security manager, among other actions;
The report questioned Brasil BioFuels about the document and asked if the company will follow the recommendations in full, but there was no response. The space remains open for updates.
“Decades of Invasions and Grabbing”
The Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil (Apib) also issued a note about what happened during the CNDH mission. The group said the conflicts reported in recent days are not isolated episodes. “These are not new conflicts, but are linked to decades of invasions and land grabs, whose ancestral occupation dates back at least 200 years,” said the organization.
Editing: Thalita Pires