by Ana Spider for Publica
There are two very names in the accounts of violence suffered by producers of southern Lábrea (Amazon): Celso Ribeiro and Nile Lemos. Besides being owners of large tracts of land in the region, farmers have another thing in common: they are in the list of people investigated for the crimes of illegal logging, illegal appropriation of public lands, personal injury and death threat to rural leadership. Many had already ordered remand.
Celso Ribeiro owns the cattle ranch Agua Verde and was mayor of Senator Guimard in Acre. He appears in the police investigation as the instigator of the action of four of its employees, known as “De Manaus”, “Daziel”, “Polish” and “Sebastian” – all ordered the arrest and later repealed.
According to farmers interviewed by the report, Celso had started to invade their land in 2009. According to testimony, after putting a fence and a gate, an employee would have begun to make a “round” to force out of living in place for decades. The reports back that he would shoot up, and at least once, the shot would have picked up in a house.
“Celso hired some 15 gunmen to threaten us,” says a producer who lived on site for over 30 years and was expelled by the gang. She has been threatened, and not to be identified because he fears retaliation.“They went shooting up, they were going to our heads. They fence and gate for us not to go in our own land and put a guardhouse with guaxeba [security] armed. “
Celso did not respond to interview request seeking comment.
Now “Dr. Nilo,” Lemos is known as the Nile in the region, owns the farm New River. The farm moves within an area where they lived more than 30 rubber workers – many of whom were born there and petitioning to turn the land into extractive area.
You can see the fences and signs with the name of the farm closing tracks where the rubber came home.Frightened by the threats allegedly made by armed employees of the farm, some located by the report include rubber tappers who had to flee. Those who resist are increasingly trapped. With the passages blocked, they can only get home by the river. Still, there are days when the course dawns blocked by logs, blocking the passage.
These reports were collected by the report and are formalized in complaints forwarded by the Pastoral Land Commission and the Central Union of Workers for the federal government and the Amazon. The tappers do not want to be identified for fear of reprisals.
According to testimonies collected by the report, the rubber tappers live with daily violence. One would have happened four years ago. After closing the roads and warn that they could not enter the land where they live and work, a group of gunmen had come to do in the area round. In one, three men with rifles had mated with a 14 year old boy who was hunting on the field where he was born. The report says they searched the young man and then mocked him with threats and physical assaults.
According to reports, the standard procedure of the group with the adult is doing a magazine and then take the rubber to the farm for “liberation.” There are several reports of rubber tappers who have been forced to walk miles under fire from pistols to achieve liberation. Some gunmen would use language police, saying that the rubber “is being held.” There are reports of people who saw the group wearing uniforms with pattern mimicking the Army: pants, shirt and boots, combat boots.
Wanted by the report, Nile Lemos did not interview. The report received the return of a man who identified himself as a farmer’s son and lawyer, but that did not authorize the publication of his name. He said there are no conflicts in the New River farm and that the report will be processed to publish “such information untrue.”
Besides being part of a police investigation, the case of New River farm is well known by those who work in the region. “Nile is a great farmer, a logger, their lands are almost all public. The area it is considered one of the causes that most land disputes, “says Judge Gercino José da Silva Filho, agricultural ombudsman National Ministry of Agrarian Development. He believes that the case is so clear that Nile will hardly win any titles for these farms when the program Legal Land complete the process of regularization in the region .
But there may be different understandings within the same ministry. According to Shirley Birth ,secretary Regularization of the Amazon, there is, so far, 21 titles in South Lábrea denied. But the team found no farm within these properties. “The areas that had the title were denied the woods, found nothing. Thus, it has taken over the land and we will not give notice [to the farmer to leave]. “He says.The secretary need not know, but if the farm has been considered the New River.
During the interview, the secretary did not use the word “land grabbing”. She replaced by the term “subdivision of public land” and “misuse of land from the union.” When asked if he was deliberately avoiding the word, Shirley said: “Some people have more hectares of land may be settled, the average owner can not be called a squatter. I do not want to commit injustices. “