The Pastoral Land Commission
National Communication Office
The Number of People involved in Rural Conflicts increased, and Conflicts over Water hit a New Record in 2018
Approximately one million people were involved in rural conflicts in Brazil in 2018; more specifically 960,630 people were involved in conflicts compared to 708,520 people in 2017, a significant increase of 35.6%. In particular, there were 118,080 families involved in land conflicts in 2018, while in 2017, there were 106,180 families, hence an increase of 11%.
The level of families involved in conflicts has increased significantly from 2013 onwards. The increase in the number of people involved in conflicts was not homogeneous throughout the national territory. There was a marked increase, of 119.7%, in the number of people involved in conflicts in the northern region of Brazil in 2018, compared to 2017, the main factor in the general increase in the number of people involved in conflicts in the country. This gives us strong indications of the advance / invasion of the Amazon region, which will be corroborated by the other indicators of the conflicts.
INTENSIFICATION OF THE VIOLENCE PROVOKED BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR CAUSED THE NUMBER OF FAMILIES EXPELLED TO EXPLODE
In only 2018, private forces were responsible for the expulsion of 2,307 families and the public power for evicting 11,235 families. The number of families expelled by private forces in the rural areas increased by 59% over 2017. Three regions were responsible for most of the expulsions, namely the north, with 36.3% of families expelled; the southeast with 35.6% and the mid-west with 24.9%.
2019 AND THE ALREADY APPARENT INCREASE IN MURDERS
2018 had a substantial drop in the number of murders. A decline from 71, in 2017, when there were 5 massacres, to 28 in 2018. The CPT has observed that electoral years tend to have a decrease in this type of violence. However, 2019 already indicates a rise in the number of murders. In the first four months of the year, the CPT recorded 11 confirmed
murders in rural conflicts and this number may be even higher. In an attack in the state of Amazonas on March 30, 1 person was killed and 3 or more people may be missing, according to reports from local residents, as families have not yet felt safe to return home. The total recorded so far already represents 40% of the deaths registered in 2018.
In 2018 the occurrences of rural conflicts increased by 3.9%, compared to 2017, rising from 1,431 occurrences to 1,489. The occurrence of specifically land conflicts has increased significantly since 2016, as well as in the period of political breakdown (2015-2018). Finally, the recent years of 2016, 2017 and 2018 are the ones that had the most land conflicts in Brazil, despite the fall in numbers between 2017 and 2018.
482 WOMEN SUFFER VIOLENCE IN RURAL CONFLICTS
The importance of women in the context of the struggles of the peoples and communities in rural areas is bec oming ever more evident and shocking. And due to their their brave action they suffer the consequences of the repression sponsored by landowners, land grabbers and businessmen, and executed by gunmen, hired assassins, security companies and by the repressive organs of the State itself – Civil and Military Police and the Federal Police.According to the data registered in CPT’s database, 1,409 women suffered some type of violence between 2009 and 2018. This number could be multiplied many times, for example, because in cases of eviction or forcible expulsion, the number of families was computed, but not the specific number of women involved. Despite the lack of that information, in 2018, the number of women who suffered some form of violence, 482, was the highest since 2008.
CONFLICTS OVER WATER BREAK A NEW RECORD WITH THE HIGHEST NUMBER SINCE 2002
In 2018, the CPT registered 276 conflicts over water, involving 73,693 families, thus breaking the record set in 2017, which had the largest number of water conflicts since 2002, when the CPT began to register this type of conflict separately. Among the victims, 85% of them are traditional communities. The number of conflicts is 40% higher and that of the families involved, 108%. 48.1% of the cases, 133, were concentrated in the Northeast; in the Southeast, 85, 30.8% of the cases; in the North, 18.8% of the cases, 52. Bahia and Minas Gerais were the states with the most conflicts over water in 2018, each with 65 cases (23.55%).
Mining companies account for 50.36% of conflicts (139). International mining companies caused 111 of the conflicts, and national mining companies, 28. Every day mining is responsible for many of the conflicts and violence suffered by the rural communities. The violence is not restricted to the specific mine being explored. Mining requires an entire
infrastructure of venues, camps, sheds, highways, railways, pipelines, condominiums or company-towns), which “presuppose different forms of domination over geographical space”. New territories are used, causing overlapping and conflicts with the peoples and communities that live and work in those same spaces. Conflicts involving mining have reached different peoples and communities in the field through various categories of workers. They are people who depend on water, forests and land to socially reproduce their own existence with dignity. CPT records show that from 2004 to 2018 there were 1,123 conflicts involving mining.
LABOR CONFLICTS: WORKERS HOSTAGES OF SILENCE
In 2017, 66 cases of slave labor were recorded, involving a total of 530 people, and 386 were released. In 2018, 86 cases were registered, with of 1,465 people reported in the complaints and 945 people released. This corresponds to a 30% increase in the number of cases, 176% in the number of workers reported in the complaints, and 144.8% in the
number of people released. Adding to the 3 occurrences of superexploitation of labor, in 2018 there are 89 cases of labor disputes – 35% more than in 2017, and with 1,477 people involved – 178.8% more than in 2017. Two people were murdered in these conflicts.
AGROCHEMICALS: THE FEAR THAT SILENCES
But other situations, equally serious, reveal different ways of exploiting work in the field, which the CPT registers. For example, the cases of workers intoxicated by agrochemicals. From 2000 to 2018, CPT registered 363 victims in conflicts involving pesticides, people who died or whose lives were threatened by contact with them. The numbers registered by the CPT are small in the face of reality. Most likely, most people who seek the doctor because of intoxication are diagnosed with other health problems, thus failing to relate the problem to the pesticide.
Most of the workers who suffer intoxication do not denounce the fact, as they fear being punished with loss of employment. Their source of sustenance is at stake. The fear of losing their job, makes the workers, the quietest group. They are hostages of silence.
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Cristiane Passos: +55 62 4008-6406 / 99307-4305
Elvis Marques: +55 62 4008-6414 / 99309-6781
Mário Manzi: +55 62 4008-6412
www.cptnacional.org.br / @cptnacional