Brazil BioFuels (BBF) carries out armed attack against communities in Pará, Brazil

The quilombola communities of the Acará Valley, Pará State, Brazil, through the AMARQUALTA association, together with Tembê and Turiwara indigenous communities, denounce one more violent action by the oil palm plantation company Brazil Biofuels (BBF).

On 12 April, heavily armed BBF security guards entered an area that the company has covered with oil palm monoculture. This area is part of a territory that is partly quilombola and partly indigenous. The security guards entered shooting and hit some quilombolas by grazing gunfire. Luckily, there were no deaths. Afterwards, the communities held a peaceful protest, partially blocking a road that goes through their territory.


The BBF company, in turn, went to court with the lie that the communities were the aggressors, obtaining a decision from the Judge asking the authorities not only to clear the road, but also to remove the quilombolas from the area where the conflict occurred. A strong police apparatus was mobilised to comply with the judicial decision, but the communities did not accept to leave the territory that belongs to them. After all, it would be a violation of the right to dispose of their lands as established in the Federal Constitution.  On the contrary, they demand that the BBF security guards withdraw from the quilombola and indigenous territory.

At a press conference on 18 April, the communities also denounced that the decision of the Judge violates an agreement signed by the company and the communities in 2022 in the Castanhal Agrarian Court. It establishes that both parties will not enter each other territory until the land issue has been resolved. AMARQUALTA denounces that for some time the BBF has been violating this judicial agreement with its security guards threatening the communities. AMARQUALTA also denounces the slowness of the authorities to regularise their territories, which could resolve the conflict once and for all.

This episode is just one of many recent episodes in which BBF has been practicing violence and intimidation against quilombola and indigenous communities whose territories the company illegally occupies to promote large-scale oil palm plantations. So much that on April 17, the Para State Public Ministry (MPE) denounced BBF's head of security, Walter Ferrari, and the company's owner Eduardo Schimmelpfeng da Costa Coelho for constituting a "group with paramilitary characteristics" that "practiced and ordered the commission of crimes of torture, damage and robbery". Due to the perpetuation of the BBF's violent actions, the MEP requested their "preventive detention".

While on its website the BBF claims that it "respects society and the environment", in reality it occupies lands that have been deforested and that belong to traditional and indigenous communities; it constantly attacks these communities; and it contaminates their water with agrotoxins and palm oil mill effluent.  

Read here in Portuguese the statement prepared by AMARQUALTA for the press conference.

Our rejection of the BBF company; and all our solidarity with the quilombola and indigenous struggle!