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12 May 2010 | |

Bitter Cane

Louis Dreyfus to be tried for abuses in Brazil

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The Pastoral Commission for Land and the Social Justice and Human Rights Network are accusing French multinational company Louis Dreyfus at the Permanent Peoples Tribunal (PPT), which will take place in May 14th-15th in Madrid. These organizations blame the company for different impacts such as poor working conditions, destruction of ecosystems and attacks against indigenous communities with their promotion to sugar cane monoculture plantations.

In Brazil, the multinational company started buying sugarcane fields in San Pablo and Minas Gerais States, in 2005. The expansion of the company took place in the center-west region of the country, in indigenous territories and in Cerrado, an ecosystem that feeds the main hydrographic basins of the country with highly diverse fauna and flora.

Dreyfus owns fifty thousand hectares of sugarcane plantations. In October 2009, the company created, with other companies, the LDC-SEV Bioenergia Group, which became the second largest world´s producer of sugar and ethanol. Their goal is to produce 40 million tons of sugarcane per year. Families Biaggi and Junqueira, the National Development Bank and the Goldman Sachs bank are some of the shareholders.

Meanwhile, the violence against the Guarani Kaiowa people continues to increase. They are one of the most numerous indigenous populations in Brazil with over 47 thousand people living in approximately twenty thousand hectares.

According to Consejo Indigenista Misionero, the native people are living in extremely poor conditions, in which lack of land causes serious social problems such as death of children, suicides (mainly young people) and alcoholism. In addition, at least four indigenous people were murdered in the fields, and the working conditions are close to slavery.

As an example of socio-environmental impacts caused by this multinational company, the organizations highlight the case of Antonio Luciano´s field, where sugarcane is grown to produce ethanol. Without environmental permits or technical studies, the course of San Francisco River was altered to transport production. Also, sugarcane monoculture plantations substitute agriculture and cattle farming and native forests are burnt and destroyed in a clandestine way.

For all these reasons, the organizations are accusing the company, which will be tried at the Permanent Peoples´ Tribunal.

Photo: http://acertodecontas.blog.br

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