Two Brazilian Indians Block Road to Procter & Gamble in Germany

Two Indians from Brazil and about 20 activists of the German NGO Robin Wood have been blocking the entrance to the factory of the multinational Procter & Gamble company since the morning of Thursday, May 4, in the city of Neuss, Germany.

The firm buys cellulose from Aracruz, a company that uses territory the belongs to the Tupinikim and Guarani indigenous peoples in Brazil, and produces with the raw material the Time paper handkerchiefs, a very well known brand in Europe.

"Our noses are full," says a banner placed at the entrance to the Procter & Gamble factory. The expression, in German, means "we are fed up, pissed off."

At 11:00 a.m.,  Paulo Henrique Vicente de Oliveira, a Tupinikim indigenous person from the Caieira Velha village, and Wera Kwaray, a Guarani indigenous person from the Boa Esperança village and 20 activists blocked three roads leading to the factory.

The trucks of the company are waiting in a parking lot on the other side of the street. Four police cars are there too.

"People in Germany should know that we, the Tupinikim and Guarani, were brutally expelled from our land because of the raw material that is used to manufacture the Time handkerchief," says the Tupinikim Paulo Henrique Vicente de Oliveira, coordinator of the second larger indigenous organization in Brazil, Apoinme.

"Procter & Gamble is also responsible for the fact that the Aracruz company stole our lands, destroyed our forests, and poisoned our rivers with chemical products," says Wera Kwaray, chief of the Boa Esperança Guarani village. "The Aracruz company causes a negative impact on our culture."

The demonstration was organized by the NGO Robin Wood, an environmentalist organization which is worried with the situation in the state of Espí­rito Santo, where the Tupinikim and Guarani were expelled from their lands by the Aracruz company, which through political pressures and relying on an unconstitutional agreement led Brazilian government officials to homologate their indigenous land with the smallest size proposed in anthropological studies carried out with a view to demarcating the land.

The two indigenous people are in Germany to press the factory to force Aracruz Cellulose to return 11,009 hectares of indigenous land it has occupied in the state of Espí­rito Santo.

They will deliver a statement to Procter & Gamble in which they demand that all contracts with Aracruz be cancelled for as long as the company does not settle its land conflicts with indigenous people, landless rural workers, and descendants of runaway slaves.

Inquires carried out by Robin Wood show that the cellulose planted by Aracruz is used to manufacture Time paper handkerchiefs and Charmin and Bess toilet paper produced by Procter & Gamble (P&G).

Aracruz Cellulose, the main producer of bleached cellulose in the world, deforested sections of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil to plant eucalyptus.

According to the company itself, it has 247,000 hectares of eucalyptus plantations. During the Brazilian military dictatorship, the company expelled native communities from their lands to develop the plantations.

To this day, Aracruz refuses to return 11,000 hectares it invaded in the state of Espí­rito Santo to the Tupinikim and Guarani resorting to violence and legal stratagems. Funai has already declared that the indigenous people are the legitimate owners of these lands.

In January of this year, the conflict escalated. Armed troops entered the Córrego de Ouro and Olho de ígua villages supported by Aracruz, and shot indigenous people using rubber bullets and chased others who were trying to flee with their belongings. During the police attack, Paulo Tupinikim broke his arm.

The fight for the Tupinikim and Guarani land is not the only one faced by Aracruz. Last week, 200 landless families occupied 8,700 hectares of Aracruz Cellulose next to the industrial complex of the company in Espí­rito Santo.

They accuse the company of having occupied vacant lands illegally. Communities of descendants of runaway slaves are also demanding that the Aracruz company returns to them dozens of thousands of hectares which they say were stolen from them.

Cimi – Indianist Missionary Council – www.cimi.org.br

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

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

Brazil Uses Public Bonds to Fund US$ 6 Billion Sovereign Fund

Brazil's Sovereign Fund (FSB) should be established, initially, using money from public bonds to ...

Brazilian Beef Exports Are Down 14%, But Revenues Up 22

Beef exports by Brazil dropped 33% during November following a significant contraction in global ...

Picking Coffee in Brazil

After passing by so many women searching for the bad beans, it is very ...

Most Foreigners Invest in Manufacturing in Brazil

The manufacturing industry was the sector that most attracted investments to Brazil, in the ...

Brazil and Argentina Create Nuclear Miniclub to Enrich Uranium

Brazil and Argentina intend to establish a binational company for uranium enrichment. The negotiations ...

Brazilian Armed Forces Complain of Obsolete and Broken Equipment and Low Wages

Brazil's armed forces, the largest military in Latin America, are badly equipped, demoralized over ...

Trade Union Leaders Seek Brazil Lula’s Backing at the G8 Summit

The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met with representatives of the ...

Organic Products Grow in Brazil, But Brazilians See Little of It

The foreign market is the main target of Brazilian organic product farmers. Of the ...

With Venezuela in, Mercosur Becomes a US$ 1 Trillion Heavyweight

As of now, Mercosur officially has five members. Venezuela joins the block at a ...

Jobless in Brazil Grow to 2.3 Million: a 10.4% Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate in the six largest Brazilian metropolitan areas was 10.4% in March, ...