Voices in the green desert

Posted: 6 September 2006 in Aracruz, Brazil, Resistance

The latest issue of Seedling includes an excellent article about Aracruz by Silvia Ribeiro. On 8 March 2006, about 2,000 women from Via Campesina took part in a demonstration at an Aracruz nursery in Rio Grande do Sul. According to Aracruz, they destroyed the company’s laboratory and five million eucalyptus seedlings.

Ribeiro points out that the Brazilian media reported the demonstration by launching a “vicious campaign accusing the women of vandalism and immorality, of opposing progress and of promoting foreign intervention (due to the presumed presence of overseas members of the international Via Campesina peasants’ movement)”. The media failed, however, to report on the vandalims and immorality of Aracruz’s operations.

Shortly after the demonstration, Aracruz commented, “We lament the acts of vandalism, intimidation and invasion of private property, which it considers are an affront to democratic principles and the rule of law.” The company appeared to have forgotten that only two months earlier Aracruz tractors bulldozed two Tupinikim and Guarani villages in Espírito Santo, while Federal Police fired rubber bullets from helicopters at fleeing Indians.

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