Written by 15 h 56 min Front page, Press release-en

Indigenous people gravely impacted by cattle farming: new piece of evidence in the case against Casino

Paris, 31 may 2022 – On the occasion of the visit of the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau indigenous people’s representatives to Paris, the CCCA (Centre for the Analysis of Climate Crimes) unveils the results of a new field investigation conducted in the Brazilian Amazon.

The report describes the illegal deforestation of a protected indigenous territory in the state of Rondônia, for the benefit of cattle farming, and provides new evidences in the French case against Casino for having failed to meet its obligations under the French law on the duty of vigilance. 

Invasion of indigenous peoples’ territories in Rondônia, Brazil, for the benefit of cattle farming

Field investigations carried out by the CCCA reveal illegal invasions of the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau indigenous territory located in the heart of the Amazon region of Rondônia, for the benefit of cattle farms. 25,482 cattle are illegally present in the reserve and 13,411 hectares of forest have been cleared for grazing, an area larger than the city of Paris.

These studies also document the large consequences of these invasions for the indigenous peoples concerned:

  • The environmental damages caused by deforestation and cattle ranching is estimated at more than 128 million € (from the loss of ecosystem services, the cost of rehabilitation and the opportunity costs of land use).
  • There are also threats to the security of indigenous peoples, their livelihoods and even their culture.
  • The peoples of the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau indigenous lands have suffered from a constant and expanding encirclement of their territory that threatens their lives”, says one indigenous person. “We are all under threat, there are many threats. All the villages are affected. They say they are going to finish off the indigenous people… It is risky to walk alone and be captured. It’s dangerous to go to town.
  • There is also a health impact. According to the testimonies : “Invaders have also violated the rights of isolated indigenous populations by coming into contact with them, while these people with no immunological memory are particularly vulnerable, especially in times of pandemic”.

According to the CCCA, the invasions of indigenous lands, their deforestation for grazing, the cattle breeding and their destination for consumption, constitute illegal activities under Brazilian law.  

The link to the full report “The connections between the Casino Group’s value chain, deforestation and violations of the indigenous Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau territory in the Brazilian Amazon” published today.

Illegal deforestation in Casino’s supply chain

Through official animal transport documents, three farms, located in the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau indigenous territory, were identified as being connected to the supply chain of a slaughterhouse of the Brazilian company JBS that supplied the Casino Group’s shops in Brazil. These farms are responsible for 340 hectares of illegal deforestation. With only 10% of the cattle produced in the indigenous territory showing official animal transport documents, the responsibility of the companies could be even greater. 

Rhavena Terto Madeira, Director of CCCA Brazil said: “Casino’s commitments to eliminate deforestation are not only unsatisfactory. These new elements show that the Casino group could also be responsible for this environmental damage under Brazilian law, by consent or omission”.

For the organisations that took Casino to court, this investigation illustrates the consequences of the company’s failures

in its duty of care. The legal action, initiated in Saint Etienne, has been referred to the Paris Judicial Court, which was designated at the end of 2021 as competent to judge disputes based on the duty of care law. The hearing to set the timetable for the proceedings will take place on 9 June 2022. Actions by other indigenous delegations are in preparation.

Mobilisation in France: Indigenous peoples’ representatives visit Paris and a website is dedicated to information on the case 

In a meeting with French NGOs and civil society this Tuesday, May 31, 2022, were present at the revelation of the CCCA report in France (represented by Rhavena Terto Madeira) :

  • Alice Pataxó, from the Pataxó indigenous people of Bahia, a 20 years old activist who spoke at COP26 in Glasgow, denouncing deforestation in the Amazon and defending the rights of indigenous peoples.
  • Tejubi, from the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau indigenous people of Rondônia, who is a 21-year-old indigenous leader. She is part of the Jupaú association, which leads the struggle to defend the rights of her people and to develop sustainable projects on their lands.
  • Neidinha Bandeira, who is an emblematic activist and head of the Ethno-Environmental Defense Association Kanindé , which works with 52 indigenous ethnic groups to stop invading cattle ranchers and illegal loggers.

The coalition of French and international NGOsand indigenous representatives that sued the Casino group is also launching today its dedicated website NourrirUnMondeDéforesté.org to shed clarity to this major issue: The two largest retailers in Brazil Carrefour and Casino are French and the beef, the main vector of deforestation in the Amazon, is sold in Brazil.

 

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: 26 January 2023
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