Dear Companion on the Way:
The State Legislative Assembly of Pernambuco – ALEPE – bestows its medal, “Lion of the North”, to those who are active in the State at various levels – the environmental level being one of them. This year, the medal is being granted to theTrapiche Sugar Mill for its so-called commitment to environmental preservation in this Northeastern State of Brasil.
What is the significance of this medal for the Sugar Mill, for the sugar-alcohol agroindustry, for the monocultive model of ethanol production?
In a phrase: “green-washing” – all based on blood, sweat and tears:
- the blood of those persecuted by the sugar industry
- the sweat of those who toil in the cane fields and sugar mill
- the tears of those expelled from their lands by sugar cane expansion
You know the model that produces sugar and ethanol in Brasil. (www.cptne2.org.br)
It is the mortiferous latifundiary model – a model that is inherently violent and excluding. It is this model that is about to be granted the medal. It is not the sugar, nor the ethanol. It is the model that receives the medal.
The Trapiche Sugar Mill is in the forefront of a series of rights violations that involve territorial and environmental conflicts in the River Sirinhaém estuary.
To repeat: look at the site – www.cptne2.org.br
The Land Pastoral Commission – Comissão Pastoral da Terra-CPT – requests that you join up with us and send the letter (in Portuguese – translation in English) to protest against the granting of the medal to the Trapiche Sugar Mill and themortiferous model it represents.
The letter that you sign also asks that ALEPE, through its respective Commissions, exercise its role as the people´s representative to bring pressure to bear on the State Governor and the Federal Government to decree an Extrativist Reserve (RESEX) in the Sirinhaém/Ipojuca área – for which the fisher-folk and homesteaders of the region have long been struggling.
The RESEX guarantees the well-being of this people.
The ALEPE e-mail addresses follow the English/Portuguese versions of the letter. Please send a copy of your signed letter in Portuguese to:
The CPT will keep you up to date on the situation.
The fisher-folk and homesteaders thank you for your solidarity.
Padre Tiago Thorlby – CPT in Pernambuco, Northeast Brasil.
Mr President of the State Assembly and Commission Members:
The State Assembly medal, “Lion of the North”, is awarded to stimulate the spirit of citizenship and care for the environment amongst the population.
It is the cause of grave concern and protest when this award is made to the Trapiche Sugar Mill, located in Sirinhaém-PE. This Sugar Mill has a known record for socio-environmental crimes.
What message is the State Assembly sending to the general public by granting this medal to an economic group that systematically pollutes water ways, destroys mangroves, devastates Crown Lands, evicts generations-old populations of fisher-folk and homesteaders?
Good sense requires that the award be withheld until the Mill´s socio-environmental crimes be properly dealt with.
The fisher-folk and homesteaders of the Sirinhaém/Ipojuca region – electors of the State Assembly – have been struggling for years for a RESEX to be decreed in the region. It will guarantee their well-being. The Sugar Mill has always beenagainst the RESEX process which is at present at ICM-BIO – awaiting the signature of the President of the Republic. Please exercise your representative powers alongside the State Governor and the Federal Government so that this RESEX isdecreed without anymore unnecessary delay.
Send the following letter in Portuguese to the following:
President of the Assembly:
and the presidents of the following commissions:
Human Rights –
and a copy to:
Senhor Presidente da ALEPE e Membros das Comissões:
A medalha, “Leão do Norte”, da Assembléia Legislativa é entregue para incentivar o espírito de cidadania e cuidado pelo meio ambiente entre a população.
É motivo de grave preocupação e de protesto quando a entidade indicada para esta medalha é a Usina Trapiche, município de Sirinhaém-PE. Esta Usina tem uma lista de crimes sócio-ambientais.
Qual a mensagem que a ALEPE envia à população ao conceder esta medalha a um grupo econômico que sistematicamente polui águas, devasta mangues, destrói Terras da União, despeja o povo pescador e posseiro que faz gerações habitam a região?
O bom-senso exige que a ALEPE adie a entrega da medalha. Assim, os crimes sócio-ambientais da Usina podem ser tratados de forma correta e transparente.
Os pescadores e posseiros de Sirinhaém/Ipojuca, eleitores de representantes na Assembléia, faz anos lutam para que seja decretada uma RESEX na região. É garantia do seu bem-viver. A Usina sempre foi contra o processo da RESEX, processo este que atualmente está com ICM-BIO, aguardando a assinatura da Presidente da República. Por favor, exerçam seu poder representativo para que a RESEX seja decretada sem mais nenhuma demora desnecessária.
Trapiche Sugar Mill History of crimes since 2008
Pollution threatens families in Brazil – Amnesty International
Sugar Slavery (Bagaço)
Criminalization of Human Rights Defenders, Brazil
In Pernambuco, All Sugar Mills Are Charged With Crimes Against The Environment
Brazil of Biofuels (página 37)
A Sweeter Alternative for Whom? Sugarcane Ethanol Production and Rural Livelihoods in Northeast Brazil ( página 46)