Fine and Arrest: Small Victories for Greenpeace and Brazil’s Ecology

Greenpeace's sign is trashed in the AmazonA land-grabber who has destroyed untold swaths of forest in the Amazon and a Swiss multinational illegally growing genetically engineered crops near a protected nature reserve. Both have been targeted by Greenpeace, both are now facing action by the government of Brazil for their environmental crimes.

The green wall of forest on either side of the dusty road gives way to a denuded clearing. The naked brown soil contrasts starkly with the jumbled growth of the rainforest surrounding it. From the air, it looks like a fresh wound, the forest cut open by chainsaws and bulldozers.

In the clearing, our activists and members of the local community get ready to send a message to those that destroy the Amazon. In the middle of the 1645-hectare illegal clearing they deploy a huge 2,500 square meter banner: ‘100% Crime’.

A week and a half after our protest at the site of the forest destruction, we receive the good news, the man held responsible for the destruction is being brought to justice.

José Donizetti was arrested on 17 March in Santarém, a city in Pará state, Brazil. He is accused of illegally deforesting 1,645 hectares, destroying Brazil nut trees – protected under Brazilian Law – and is also accused of interfering in the work of the Brazilian Environmental Agency (IBAMA), as well as disrespecting federal authorities.

This isn’t the first time Donizetti has faced justice in Brazil; he has been fined twice before for illegal land clearance. Our protest at the site of his latest crime 11 days before his arrest didn’t go unchallenged. During the peaceful protest he arrived at the scene in a truck with a number of other men.

He threatened the activists and the local community members who were symbolically planting native trees. In a rage, he drove his truck over the ‘100% Crime’ banner the activists had unfurled in the middle of the illegal clearing and, in the words of one who was there, ‘100% destroyed it.’

Greenpeace is a watchdog, not a police dog. When we expose environmental crimes, we rely on the forces of law to do something about it. José de Oliveira isn’t the only one currently under the spotlight of Brazilian justice.

The enormous Swiss company Syngenta was fined nearly 400,000 euros after they were caught illegally growing genetically modified crops next to a national park. Greenpeace is demanding the immediate destruction of the crop.

The fine is yet another blow to Syngenta after the company’s home country rejected the growing of GMOs in the alpine nation in a referendum late last year and comes a year to the day that it was revealed to the European Commission that Syngenta had released unauthorized and untested GMO maize (BT10) in the US and in exports to EU countries.

Martin Luther King said that, "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." In at least these two cases in Brazil, the universe is bending the right way.

Greenpeace – www.greenpeace.org

Tags:

  • Show Comments (1)

  • Guest

    well done
    well done to green peace.Keep up the good work

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

The author's boat, the Roamdeep

Brazil Won’t Let My Boat Out, the US Won’t Let My Brazilian Wife In

I received my visa (A 1416275) to Brazil in Trinidad, on October 6, 2002. ...

Brazil Offers Equivalence Exams in Japan to Dekaseguis

This past weekend, approximately 1.5 thousand Brazilians who are temporarily employed in Japan took ...

Dissecting Brazil’s Zero Hunger

In Brazil, a country of abundance, the existence of mass hunger is a fact ...

A 20-Year Program to Offer Every Brazilian the Education They Need

Discussion of Brazil’s National Salary Floor for Teachers has centered upon its amount, 950 ...

Industrial Jobs Fall in Brazil

Industry new jobs in Brazil dropped 0.2% in March, when compared to February, in ...

Rapidinhas

Fashion Crème de la crème Isabela Rosselini‘s 13-year reign as Lancôme’s face has ended. ...

Strong Real and High Interest Rates Harm Brazil’s Car Production

Brazilian auto output and sales slumped in October, as high interest rates and a ...

Brazil Frees US$ 200 Million for Research. Money Was Frozen to Pay Foreign Debts.

Brazil’s government has released US$ 200 million for scientific research, fulfilling a promise to ...

Despite Iran and Moves by China, Brazil and the US Remain Best Friends Forever

According to Brazilian daily newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, the Chinese state-run oil ...