World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


US Giant Accused Over Biofuel ‘Tainted With Indian Blood'

SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE

November 13, 2012

US Food Giant Accused Over Biofuel ‘Tainted With Indian Blood’

A US food giant has been implicated in a sugarcane scandal in Brazil that has kept an entire indigenous community off its land, polluted streams and inflicted illness and death on Guarani Indians.

Headquartered in the US, global grain trader Bunge is deeply involved in Brazil’s burgeoning biofuels market, and sources sugarcane from farmers who have taken over the ancestral land of the Guarani.

A community of 225 Guarani in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, whose land was taken from them to make way for the plantations, says the invasion of sugarcane, associated machinery and pesticides has ruined their lives over the past four years.

Two Guarani from Jata Yvary community have already committed suicide this year. The boys, aged 16 and 13, were found hanging from trees. A truck from the plantations used by Bunge also reportedly ran over and killed a man.

Talking to Survival International, the community said, ‘We Guarani don’t want sugarcane planted on our land anymore…it harms our health, including the health of our children, and elderly people, and the poison contaminates the water.’

The Guarani say pesticides sprayed from planes land on their community, and discarded machinery and crops have been left to rot in streams they rely on for water.

In a letter they call for their ‘land to be demarcated…and for white people in the area to be evicted, because with them we don’t have space to hunt and fish, and we can’t practice our traditions. We want to preserve the forest but they are destroying it, and illegally making money from it.’

Brazil’s constitution, and an agreement signed by the authorities and the Guarani, oblige the government to map out and protect all Guarani land. But this program has come practically to a stand-still, and as the Guarani wait for their land to be returned to them, they are seeing it consumed by an ever-advancing wave of sugarcane.

Survival has written to Bunge, but the company was unapologetic, saying it would continue to source sugarcane from this ancestral Guarani land until the Brazilian authorities fully map out the area as indigenous.

Earlier this year, Raizen, a biofuels company set up by Shell and COSAN scrapped controversial plans to source sugarcane from land stolen from the Guarani after a sustained campaign by the Indians and Survival.

Survival International’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘Much of Brazil’s biofuel is tainted with Indian blood. Those using it should be aware that their so-called ‘ethical’ choice is contributing to the death and utter destitution of Guarani Indians. Bunge must follow Shell’s lead and leave Guarani land, without hiding behind the excuse of waiting for official land recognition which can take decades.’


Read this online: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/8812


Survival International helps tribal peoples defend their lives, protect their lands and determine their own futures. Founded 1969.


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Whaling: Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research In Defiance Of World Court Ruling

The ICR Today Filed Court Briefs Stating They Intend to Return to Antarctica to Hunt Whales in 2015-2016; Will Seek to Enjoin Other Sea Shepherd Entities from Obstructing Their Operations More>>

Ukraine: UN Urges 'Maximum Restraint' Amid Situation In East Ukraine

Deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for maximum restraint and appealed to all sides to work towards calming the situation, which has the 'growing potential' to ... More>>

United Nations: Children Can Now Lodge Complaints With The UN

GENEVA (14 April 2014) – United Nations child rights experts have hailed a new treaty that allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights. More>>

India: Election But A Ritual In Nation Lacking Rule Of Law

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) congratulates the people of India for their participation to elect the 16th Lok Sabha. The process has attracted, as usual, considerable media attention across the world. Media claims the process to be 'the largest democratic ... More>>

Solomon Islands: Thousands Remain Affected After Flash Floods

An estimated 52,000 people remain affected in the worst-hit areas of Honiara and greater Guadalcanal following last week’s devastating floods which killed at least 23 people. More>>

ALSO:

World: Some 437,000 People Murdered Worldwide In 2012 - UN

Almost half a million people across the world lost their lives in 2012 as a result of intentional homicide, with the highest murder rates logged in the Americas and Africa, and the lowest in Europe, Asia and Oceania, the United Nations Office on ... More>>

Central African Republic:: Security Council Establishes UN Peacekeeping Mission

Deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation and ongoing human rights abuses in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Security Council today approved the establishment of a nearly 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation ... More>>

ALSO:

Parliament: NZ Sending Aid Flight To Solomons

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has announced further support for the response to severe flooding in Solomon Islands. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news