Written by 12 h 09 min Environment and Climate, Front page, Press release-en, Strategic litigation

Casino case: The Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau Indigenous community joins the legal action

Paris / Sao Paulo / Bogota – January 12, 2023As a hearing will be held today in the Casino case related to deforestation and land grabbing, the association Jupaú, representing the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people, officially announced its intention to join the international coalition of organisations involved in the lawsuit against the supermarket chain.

On March 3, 2021, a coalition of Brazilian and Colombian indigenous peoples’ organisations (COIAB, CPT, FEIPA, FEPOIMT and OPIAC) and international NGOs (Canopée, Envol Vert, FNE, Mighty Earth, Notre Affaire à Tous and Sherpa) sued the supermarket chain for breaching its duty of vigilance. They accuse Casino of not having taken the necessary measures to exclude beef linked to illegal deforestation, land grabbing and violations of indigenous peoples’ rights from its supply chain in Brazil and Colombia.

A few months ago, the Center for Climate Crime Analysis (CCCA) revealed in a report the destruction, caused by cattle ranching, of the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau indigenous land. 25,482 animals are illegally managed within their land and 13,411 hectares of forest have been deforested, an area larger than the city of Paris.

Through official animal transport documents, three illegal farms located in the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau indigenous land were identified as being connected to the supply chain of one of the Brazilian company JBS’ slaughterhouses, which supplied the stores of the Casino group in Brazil.

In view of this finding, the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people seek, through this voluntary intervention, compensation for the environmental damages and human rights violations caused by illegal deforestation and cattle ranching. They also put forward new evidence emphasising the links with Casino, which would have breached its duty of vigilance.

The Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people came in contact with non-indigenous population in 1981, leading to a major population loss that reduced them to a few hundred people. They have been fighting to preserve their territory and cultural heritage since then. Currently they inhabit 18 thousand km², shared with other tribes, including uncontacted ones. Although they have legal rights to their lands, they are constantly under threats like the one opposed by cattle ranchers. 

Bitaté Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau, the representative of the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people, hopes “that the Casino case will serve as an example to other companies, and that it will contribute to reducing deforestation in the Amazon as well as guaranteeing the rights of indigenous people”.

Press release from:
Sherpa, Canopée, Coordinator of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon, Pastoral Land Commission, Envol vert, Federation of Indigenous Peoples of Pará, Federation of Indigenous Peoples and Organizations of Mato Grosso, France Nature Environnement, Mighty Earth, Notre Affaire à Tous, National Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon. 

For more information: presse@asso-sherpa.org

Last modified: 17 January 2023