Palm oil in Brazil: in Brazil: Sign the petition to return the lands to indigenous and quilombola communities

Oil palm plantations are spreading like wildfire across the eastern Brazilian Amazon. But local communities are standing up to the palm oil industry’s brutality and sweeping land grabs, demanding the return of their ancestral lands and calling on the authorities to protect them from encroachment and violence. Read and sign the petition here.


The Vale do Acará region of the state of Pará is the center of Brazil’s expanding palm oil industry. Rainforest Rescue visited the region in the east of the Amazon, spoke to the people there and agreed to help.

Oil palm plantations are closing in on the ancestral lands of the Indigenous Tembé and Turiwara and the Quilombola, descendants of enslaved people from Africa. Communities complain of land grabbing, forced evictions and the constant threat of massive violence.

The largest plantation owners are Agropalma and Brazil Biofuels (BBF). They alone control 2,400 square kilometers of land – an area one and a half times the size of London.

Many of the parcels in the rainforest are ancestral lands stolen from local Indigenous and Quilombola communities. While courts have annulled the land titles for hundreds of square kilometers of land illegally claimed by Agropalma, the land has not yet been returned.

Local communities continue to be harassed, persecuted, and massively restricted in their freedom of movement and way of life. Violence, humiliation, racism, death threats and criminalization are commonplace. The communities deplore a situation in which people have been seriously injured and killed.

Private security guards, local police and criminal gangs are said to be responsible for the suffering of the local people. The companies involved deny all allegations and continue to claim the area.

The Tembé and Quilombola peoples have drawn attention to the structural violence they face and are demanding the return of their ancestral lands. They ask for international support, continued attention and solidarity.

Please, read and sign here the petition and tell the Brazilian state to fulfill its constitutional obligations, recognize land rights and ensure the rule of law and the security of the people.

Source: Rainforest Rescue.