Cargill Santarem (Brazilië) afgesloten
Cargill heeft een aantal jaar geleden illegaal een sojaverwerkingsbedrijf gebouwd in de haven van Santarem (Para – Brazilië). Cargill heeft namelijk voor de bouw van het bedrijf geen milieu-impactanalyse uitgevoerd. De gevolgen voor de regio waren de afgelopen jaren niet gering (ontbossing en negatieve impact voor lokale gemeenschappen).
Na een jarenlange juridische strijd, heeft Ibama (Brazilian Institute for Environment and Renewable Natural Resources) afgelopen zaterdag Cargill in Santarem afgesloten.
Hieronder kan u het persbericht vinden dat Greenpeace zaterdag heeft verspreid.
Cargill’s controversial soya shipping facility in the Amazon is shut down
Santarém, Pará state, Amazon, Brazil. 24th March, 2007
A huge soya processing and shipping facility in the heart of the Amazon
rainforest, which environmental organisation Greenpeace accuses of being built
illegally, has today been closed down by the Brazilian Environmental Agency
IBAMA pending an assessment of its environmental impact.
The facility, built by US commodity giant Cargill in Santarém, has been at the
centre of a controversy after Greenpeace discovered that huge tracts of the
Amazon were being destroyed to grow soya which is shipped from the facility to
Europe, to provide cheap feed for chicken which is then sold in fast food
outlets and supermarkets.
The dramatic development is result of a request by the Federal Ministry of
Public Prosecution (MPF) to "inspect and immediately stop the operations of
Cargill port as well as condemn the north-American multinational for illegal
operation". The Regional Federal Court (TRF, in Portuguese) confirmed the
According to the Federal Prosecutor in Santarém, Felipe Friz Braga, "this is
a historical decision and it changes the pattern of lack of governance in the
The suspension of Cargill port activities in Santarém is the culmination of
many years of demands by the local communities in Santarém and those who fight
the expansion of soya in the Amazon. Soya and other products from the
agribusiness are key drivers for deforestation, threatening huge loss of
biodiversity and contributing to climate change.
"This is an important day for the Amazon rainforest and for its people. Thanks
to the non-stop efforts of the Federal Ministry of Public Prosecution in Pará
State, a big step forward has been taken in enforcing the responsible use of
natural resources and bringing greater governance in the Amazon", said Paulo
Adario, Greenpeace Amazon Campaign Coordinator in Brazil. "We trust that
Cargill will respect the judiciary and conduct a broad environmental impact
assessment (EIA), which will result in concrete measures to minimize the
impacts by its port and soya expansion in the region. In that way, the company
will also confirm its commitment to the moratorium on further deforestation for
soya planting, announced by the soya sector in Brazil last year" he
Since 2003, Greenpeace has supported the fight of the local communities who,
together with the Federal Public prosecution office, initiated a campaign
against the Cargill’s port, demanding that a proper environmental assessment
was carried out. In 2006, the environmental organization published an extensive
investigation on the impact of soya expansion in the Amazon.
The Greenpeace report, "Eating up the Amazon" revealed that the world-wide
demand for soya has been fueling deforestation of the world’s biggest tropical
rainforest. In May last year, Greenpeace launched a high profile protest in the
region, blocking Cargill’s Santarem port with its ship, the Artic Sunrise.
The deadline for IBAMA’s inspection at the Cargill port initially expired on
the 12th March, but it was extended by the Federal Ministry of Public
Prosecution at the request of IBAMA. Since 2000, the MPF has been engaged in
judicial battle in order to have a thorough Environmental Impacts Assessment
carried out. However, instead of complying with the Brazilian environmental
law, Cargill exploited the shortcomings of a complex Brazilian legal system
and, through a long judicial battle, bought time to construct and operate the
terminal without assessing its potentially enormous environmental impact.
In a last attempt to delay the embargo of the port, on 7th March, Cargill
presented a judicial injunction trying to hinder the Ministry of Public
Prosecution of acting or publishing acts for the closure of the port. The
company also aimed to hinder IBAMA inspection and the consequent embargo of the
port. However, the Federal Judge in Santarem Francisco de Assis Garcês Castro
Junior denied the company’s request a week later.
Notes to Editors
(1) The TRF Federal Judge Souza Prudente ordered the complete fulfillment of the
decision made in 2000, which suspended all permits issued for Cargill port in
Santarem. The port does not comply with the Brazilian laws which demand
Environmental Impacts Assessment (EIA) for this kind of venture. According to
the MPF: "the judicial order ends the multinational’s assumption of non
complying with the injunction, hinder its activities in the region and ensure
that the Environmental Impact Assessment to be carried out in order to have the
Daniela Montalto, Greenpeace International + 31 646 16 20 33
Paulo Adario, Greenpeace Brazil – + 55 92 8115 8928
Tica Minami, Greenpeace Amazon Manaus +55 92 8114 4517
The Brazilian Judiciary decision signed by the Federal Judge Dimis da Costa
Braga in 2000 is now in force. This demands Cargill to conduct an Environmental
Impacts Assessment (EIA) to regulate the functioning of its grain port,
constructed at the margins of Tapajos river in Santarem, in the West of Para
state. The injunction was addressed to the State Secretariat of Science,
Technology and Environment (SECTAM) and it prohibited SECTAM from granting any
further authorization for the functioning of Cargill?s port without the
approval of an EIA.
Follows the step-by-step of what has happened during the legal battle on
Cargill’s port in Santarem:
1. The judicial process had an injunction back in 2000. This injunction is an
urgent decision, quickly issued to avoid prejudice to the civil society. In
this case, it was granted to suspend the authorization for the functioning of
Cargill’s port without the approval of an Environmental Impact Assessment
2. Cargill presented seven appeals from this injunction, but was defeated in
every instance for the last seven years. In the Brazilian Judiciary, the
appeals can have suspensive effect, which means that the decision that is
subject of dispute is not valid while the appeal is being judged. Therefore,
even with a contrary decision from the Judiciary, Cargill could get
authorization and constructed the port.
3. The existence of an appeal does not stop its normal course through the legal
channels. And following its normal course, this process got its sentence in
2004, from Judge Fabiano Verli, of Federal Justice in Santarem, condemning
Cargill to conduct an EIA. This decision was considered conclusive because it
analyses the merit of the issue.
4. Cargill appealed against the sentece, with a civil injunction which is still
to be analysed by the Tribunal Regional Federal da 1ª Região (high court, but
not the highest). Meanwhile the 2004 sentence is still to be judged, the 2000
injunction is in force.
5. As Cargill has lost all appeals against the injunction, which was judged in
February 2006, its content must now be complied with. The Federal Ministry of
Public Prosecution was notified in January 2007 and, therefore, requested the
Brazilian Environmental Agency, IBAMA (on the 26th February), to inspect
Cargill?s terminal in Santarem.
The Federal Ministry of Public Prosecution yet confirms that no impact
assessment of any kind was conducted for the construction of Cargill’s port.
At the time the company requested a license, it did presented a Environmental
Control Plan (PCA), which is more used to prevent accidents and it is not
appropriate for high impacts activities, according to the Brazilian
legislation. The understanding that the PCA is not adequate and, therefore, the
EIA is necessary was acclaimed by all judges that analysed the issue.