In Pará, the mayor occupies public land with cattle and illegal deforestation, points out Greenpeace

João​ Cleber (MDB), mayor of São Félix do Xingu, in Pará, has been deforesting, at least since 2008, areas of your Bom Jardim farm. The property, according to data crossed by the NGO Greenpeace, is located in a non-designated public forest in the Amazon and had no authorization for deforestation, factors that indicate illegality in the process and land grabbing — as the illegal occupation of land is known.

The farm appears in João Cleber’s declaration of assets in the municipal election of 2018, in which he was elected, in the first round.

The area has fines and embargoes by Ibama for forest destruction. The property, which is used for raising cattle, is indirectly part of JBS’s supply chain — the company says that it fulfills commitments and that it will check the situation.

São Félix do Xingu is the municipality with the largest herd in Brazil, with about 2.4 million heads. According to IBGE, the population in the city is 135.732. It is also, historically, one of the cities with the most deforestation in the country.

According to data from the latest Prodes, a program by Inpe (National Institute for Space Research) that annually measures the destruction of Brazilian biomes, from August 2018 to July 2021, the city collapsed 732, 7 km² of Amazonia. This is equivalent to 135 Ibirapuera parks, in São Paulo.

The huge herd and the high level of destruction leads São Félix do Xingu to the post of municipality that emits the most greenhouse gases in Brazil, according to data from SEEG (Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Removal Estimates System).

Contacted by Folha , João Cleber denied that there was deforestation on the farm and said that the destruction could be the fault of indigenous people.

“It may happen that, because the farm faces a Kaiapó indigenous village, and the indigenous use fire to clean a swidden for the planting of cassava and this fire sometimes spreads, reaching areas of the property”, says the mayor, in a note.

The statement, however, does not It matches the satellite images. Prodes records, with satellites, the so-called clear cut of forest, that is, the complete felling of forest areas in a short period of time.

Burns they are usually the next process in deforestation — fire is used to “clean up” an area that has already been cleared. Greenpeace also looked at data from Deter, an Inpe program that produces deforestation alerts.

Beyond Furthermore, the images show that areas of deforestation in a vein centered on the property, farther away from the Kaiapó indigenous land.

The mayor also stated that the area has belonged to his family since 1984 and that “we are in the process of regularizing the farm and its activities with the competent bodies”, but it did not send documentation to the report proving ownership of the land .

Greenpeace Brasil arrived at the Bom Jardim farm when looking, for all the reasons mentioned above, at the municipality of São Félix do Xingu. According to Cristiane Mazzetti, representative of Greenpeace Brasil, the area is among the 32 with the greatest recent deforestation in the country, the from Deter data.

There are also two other properties in the municipality that were analyzed by the Greenpeace team . All are superimposed on non-designated public forests —​public, state or federal areas, without defined use—, have indications of illegal deforestation and are not included in the INCRA (National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform) basis of titling processes, which would be signs of land grabbing, according to Greenpeace.

These examples, says Mazzetti, demonstrate the process of irregular land occupation and the risks of encouraging land grabbing that the PLs (Projects for Law) that can be voted this week by the Senate.

They are the PL 135 /21, which deals with land title regularization and has been called the PL da grilagem, and the PL 2159/21, which deals with environmental licensing.

According to Mazzetti, deforestation on public lands, as in the cases mentioned above, occurs to demonstrate occupation and seek, in the future, a way to obtain the de facto title to the land.

“Co n as Congress makes legislation on land tenure more flexible, other situations like this will be repeated, little by little, taking the Amazon to a point of no return,” says Mazzetti.

The three farms , in addition to signs of land grabbing and recent deforestation, have records of livestock production and supply of cattle to JBS, one of the largest animal protein industries in the world. This indicates contamination by illegal deforestation in the company’s production chain.

A study by Ipam (Institute for Environmental Research in the Amazon) has already shown that the pasture for cattle raising occupies about

% of deforested areas on public lands not destined to the Amazon.

Bom farms Jardim, owned by the mayor of São Félix do Xingu, and Nossa Senhora Aparecida, also analyzed by Greenpeace, may have traded cattle indirectly with JBS —the animals from these farms passed through other properties that later supplied cattle to the company.

Giant slaughterhouses such as JBS, Marfrig and Minerva usually state that there are difficulties in keeping up with the indirect supply chain. In 2009, the companies signed the Public Commitment for Beef, in which they stated that, within two years, they were obligated “to prove in a monitorable manner, verifiable and reportable” that its indirect suppliers would not have deforested the Amazon. The promise has not been fulfilled until today.

But among the three farms there are not only indirect suppliers. The Flor da Mata 3 farm, which was also part of the NGO’s survey, sold cattle directly to JBS in Marabá, from July 2018 until at least July de 2021.

In addition to the recent deforestation in Flor da Mata 3, the investigation indicates that the owner of the farm, Edson Coelho dos Santos , was arrested in 2014 on charges of involvement in homicides and threats to people of the landless movement. The property’s area has been the target of agrarian conflicts for years. The 2021Folha 2159 tried, unsuccessfully, to contact Edson Coelho dos Santos.

The audit The most recent one led by the MPF (Federal Public Ministry) points out irregularities in almost 21% of the cattle acquired by JBS from January 2018 to June 2018. Most of them concern animals sold by farms with records of illegal deforestation.

When sought after, JBS claimed to have “zero tolerance for non-compliance with social and environmental criteria” as part of its purchase policy responsible and the monitoring protocol of the MPF.

According to the company, all transactions with the aforementioned farms were correct from the point of view of the responsible purchasing policy and the protocol with the MPF.

“In view of the details sent by Folha de S.Paulo, observing its commitment to the sustainability of the livestock chain, JBS will request clarification from the State Secretariat for the Environment of Pará and the Federal Public Ministry of Pará, responsible for overseeing these issues,” said the company, in a note.

About the farms being in non-designated public forests, the company states that “they have an active Rural Environmental Registry at the base of the Secretari the State of the Environment of Pará, which is the source established by the MPF protocol to monitor cattle suppliers”. He also says he will ask the authorities for information on the situation in the areas.

The report also sought out Antônio Francisco da Silva Filho, who is reported in documents as responsible for the Nossa Senhora Aparecida farm. He just replied that he no longer owns the area.

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