Brazilian Human rights Council asks banks to suspend finance to Brasil BioFuels

After visiting the region where the escalation of land conflicts between Tembé Indigenous People and the palm oil producer Brasil Biofuels, have led to four Tembé people being shot in just 4 days, the Brazilian National Council for Human Rights published recommendations to BNDES, Banco do Brasil, Banco da Amazônia, Banco Genial, Itaú, John Deere Bank and Banco Safra, to suspend finance to BBF.

The conflicts with BBF are not new
Last year, a group os Turyuara people suffered an armed attack, which left one (non-indigenous) person dead. According to an article by Amazonia Real, the Indigenous Turiwara leaders accused BBF of having responsibility for the murder. The article also reports that the company denies involvement.

In May of this year, Amazonia Real also reported that the Public Ministry of the State of Pará requested the arrest of the owner of BBF, Eduardo Schimmelpfeng da Costa Coelho, and the head of the company’s security department, accusing them of having tortured 11 people, all of them members of the traditional community in Vale do Bucaia, in northeastern Pará. The accusations also include the destruction of houses, cars, trucks and theft of community cell phones. In a note, the BBF denies the participation of those cited in the crimes pointed out by Pará’s Public Ministry.

More information on the conflict and the recommendations can be found on Brasil de Fato, and in the Global Witness report « Amazon Palm« , among others.

* In September 2023, an open letter signed by 50 signatories from across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, was sent to the Consumer Goods Forum and consumer goods companies calling for the suspension of sourcing from BBF until the company takes action to end all forms of violence and intimidation against the community and until harms have been compensated and fully remedied to the satisfaction of the a