Mexico Issues & Opinions

Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

  News &
Politics
Issues &
Opinions
Business &
Finance
Health &
Evironment
Lifestyle &
Entertainment
Travel &
Outdoors
Science &
Technology

US Food Giant Accused Over Biofuel 'Tainted With Indian Blood'

Survival International
go to original
November 13, 2012
Share



A Guarani man in front of sugarcane crops, grown where the tribe’s forests once stood. (Survival)

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.’

Bunge is buying sugarcane from land claimed by the Guarani. (Survival)

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.’

Act now to help the Guarani

Your support is vital for the Guarani’s survival. There are lots of ways you can help.

  Check out Survival International: Uncontacted Tribes


We invite you to add your charity or supporting organizations' news stories and coming events to PVAngels so we can share them with the world. Do it now!

CHARITY ALERT Vallarta Botanical Garden Needs Your Help

TripAdvisor singled out the Botanical Garden for removal and placed us on our own page in Cabo Corrientes.

Please write and ask TripAdvisor why all other Cabo Corrientes attractions are still on the Puerto Vallarta page while only the Garden was removed.

Click here to see all the details

Meet the Charities

Community Services

Environmental

Animals & Wildlife

Health Care

Youth & Family

Education

Culture & Recreation

Special Interests

How You Can Help

Use Your Powers for Good

Add Your Favorite Charity

Save a Life - Give Blood

 

Partners for Change

Meet the Partners

Become a Partner for Change

Stay Connected

Find PVAngels on Facebook Follow PVAngels on Twitter Sign up PVAngels Newsletter RSS Feeds on PVAngels


Resources

About PVAngels

Add Your Charity

Add Your News & Events

Locate Yourself on Our Maps

Jobs - Join PVAngels Team

About Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta Local News

Local Event Calendar

Puerto Vallarta Videos

Puerto Vallarta Photos

Historic Puerto Vallarta

Local Area Maps

Important Phone Numbers

Craig's List in Puerto Vallarta

News Around Mexico

Mexico Issues & Opinions

Mexico Business News

Mexico Evironmental News

Lifestyle & Entertainment

Mexico Travel & Outdoors

Science & Technology News

Mexico News & Travel Videos


FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance a more in-depth understanding of critical issues facing the world. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

m3 • local actions from global awareness