Oil palm production exploits black and indigenous populations in Brazil


The news portal Metrópoles travelled 5,700 km to denounce how the palm oil production chain affects quilombola communities and Indigenous Peoples in the state of Pará, Brazil—namely through expropriation of traditional communities, environmental impacts, and a labor history analogous to slavery. Quilombola and indigenous communities denounce the invasion of their territories by large companies, mainly Agropalma and Brasil BioFuels, which block residents from entering the regions. These companies are accused of having ties to gunmen who threaten community leaders and devastate centuries-old cultures and territories. The report draws an interesting parallel between these monocultures and how oil palm is cultivated and used in Bahía—where the crop is planted by the population for their own benefit, is processed and used locally, and forms part of the identity and culture of the people. Read and watch the video in Portuguese here.