2016 October 2016 - Conectas

Oct 4, 2016 - the lives of approximately 25,000 people. ... North America and Africa. ... The territory claimed by CIPS (an area of direct influence spanning more than 13,500 ... Violence and violations of the rights of traditional populations ... de Santo Agostinho and Ipojuca, 15,0004 native families lived since before the.
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Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council – 2016 The Implantation of the Industrial Port Complex Governor Eraldo Gueiros (CIPS). Pernambuco-Recife, Brazil.

Adoption of effective means of safeguarding traditional ways of life and ensuring the fundamental rights and wellbeing of the population within the area of influence of the CIPS.

Main categories: a) Human rights violations by State agents b) Minorities and traditional communities c) Businesses and human rights d) Free, prior and informed consultation e) The environment – ecocide

Submitted by: Conectas Human Rights (11) 3884-7440 – http://www.conectas.org Fórum Suape – Espacio Socio-ambiental http://www.forumsuape.ning.com

This document was translated in collaboration with Alexander Cavan and Loni Thorson, online volunteers mobilized through www.onlinevolunteering.org.

October 2016


Contextualization of the Case: I.

The implantation region of CIPS The coastal region of Pernambuco state, located in the northeast of Brazil, is home to a richly diverse landscape with reef ecosystems, mangroves, estuaries, restinga forests and the Atlantic Forest. Historically, the region has been home to traditional communities, including fishers, female seafood harvesters, and farmers. The natural beauty of the beaches and the countless possibilities for leisure activities attract tourism from all over the world and drive a large sector of the state’s economy. The region has undergone profound transformations as a result of the installation of the CIPS, a state-owned, mixed-economy enterprise. The negative consequences in the social, economic and environmental spheres cannot be overlooked. There have been countless human rights violations committed against traditional communities and temporary workers, hired by the thousands and drawn from other regions, by CIPS construction projects.


The Industrial Port Complex Governor Eraldo Gueiros – CIPS


The CIPS consists of a union of mixed-economy port and industrial mega-enterprises. It is implanted around 40km south of the city of Recife, capital of Pernambuco state, in the northeast of Brazil. Referred by authorities as the ‘Engine of the state’, ‘el Eldorado’ and the ‘Jewel in the Crown’, the CIPS makes up a vast area of more than 13,500 hectares and affects the lives of approximately 25,000 people. The majority of the families, many of which have already been affected, are characterized as traditional communities, distributed in regions referred to as ‘ingenios’. This term comes from ingenios azucareros, referring to the time of their grandparents and great-grandparents working on the large sugar plantations or, in the coastal regions, as fishermen in the seaside and river regions. According to the CIPS official website,1 The complex has more than one hundred companies installed "including chemical, metal-mechanical, naval and logistics industries, which will strengthen the power generation centers, bulk cargoes of liquids and gases, food and wind power, as well as opening spaces in other segments such as grains and logistics. In total, the aforementioned exceeds R$40BN in investments2.” Among other mixed-economy projects is the NALR - Northeast Abreu and Lima Petroleum Refinery. The port of Suape is considered one of the main investment centers in the country and has a strategic location, in relation to the main maritime routes, connected to more than 160 ports on every continent and with direct connections to Europe, North America and Africa. The official website highlights the rapid expansion of the




1 2

Available at: www.suape.pe.gov. Accessed 4th October 2016 Official IPCG website:

CIPS. In 2014, the Port Union moved more than 15 million tons of cargo and earned more than R$100M3. This growth is accounted for, more than anything else, by the growth in the movement of liquids in bulk, mainly petrol, diesel, petroleum liquid gas, and oil, amongst others. From January to July 2016, the movement of petroleum grew by 87.35% when compared to the same period in 2015. This growth is linked to that of the production of the Abreu e Lima Refinery (RNEST). Today, Suape is the main port involved with the movement of petroleum, which arrive via cabotage, originating from the countryside of Espírito Santo and Rio Grande do Norte states, as well as from Santos.


Traditional Communities and Local Economies at Risk


The area of influence of the CIPS encompasses eight municipalities, amongst which Cabo de Santo Agostinho and Ipojuca are the most affected. The territory claimed by CIPS (an area of direct influence spanning more than 13,500 hectares) has historically been inhabited by approximately 25,000 people from traditional communities who live in symbiosis with the local environment, having developed relationships in particular local economies through bartering and cooperation. They have developed their culture and customs over the course of many generations, conserving and making prudent usage of the natural resources, living off of fish, fruit gathering and subsistence agriculture. They possess allotments of around 10 hectares each for their crops and housing. The installation of the CIPS also had negative repercussions for other sectors of the economy and society, such as:




● ●

● II.

Crisis in the tourism sector, with the failure and closure of various local hotels and restaurants. Collapse of coastal and marine fishing industries. The state of Pernambuco ceased to be one of the major providers of fish and seafood and came to depend on pisciculture and other states’ production. Hyperinflation of urban areas caused by the arrival of tens of thousands of people from other regions seeking temporary work on the CIPS’s construction projects. Increased rates of crime and violence in both urban and rural areas.

Violence and violations of the rights of traditional populations residing within the area of influence of the CIPS

10. Since the installation of the port of Suape and the enterprises in the industrial

complex, these communities have been experiencing a systematic violation of their rights. Only in the area where the Complex is located, in the municipalities of Cabo 3

Official IPCG website:
de Santo Agostinho and Ipojuca, 15,0004 native families lived since before the implementation of the project. Today there are about 3,0005 families left, many of whom will still be evicted to give rise to the installation of more industries. a. Systematic evictions from their land and homes, formation of militias and coercion 11.

12. 13.






CIPS adopts a violent and arbitrary tactic of rendering the environment inhospitable, rendering it unbearable for the maintenance of the livelihoods of traditional families and communities, forcing an apparently voluntary departure. There are several accounts of local residents about families summarily and clandestinely evicted by the company, without any compensation or relocation. There are also families who have been forced to accept very low compensation and leave their homes, coerced by the constant abuses and violence committed by CIPS. The violent manner as they were forced to accept the agreement with the company is present in different accounts: it implies the receipt of compensations of derisory values that do not correspond to the size of the land or the number of constructions present. CIPS has put a 'security' detachment in place that acts as an armed militia. A group of employees threatens the local population, trespassingon their patios to try to frighten residents into moving away. They overzealously perform surveillance operations which are disproportionate to the threat represented to the company's property and drive around vandalising property and destroying what small improvements the local population has made to their environment. This 'security' initiative has become, in practice, a way of intimidating the people and manipulating them into signing the agreements forcing them to leave their land. In the case of fishing villages, the systematic violence also includes the deprivation of access along with the theft of supplies and harvests from fishing. The companies’ motorized militia with no legal authority enforces the prohibition of access. Residents and charity organizations have reported these crimes to the local authorities and governmental organizations. There are various complaints registered in police stations across the municipalities and on the Suape Forum (www.forumsuape.ning.com). Despite this, no effective countermeasures have been taken. The aggression and violence, which happen in plain sight, demonstrate the level of impunity the perpetrators command. Connivance of the Judicial Branch: In the cases in which the courts have been asked to legitimize the families' evictions, the corporations count on the connivance of the Pernambuco state judiciary. The judiciary has, in many cases, permitted and accelerated evictions in favor of the company. These range from preliminary grants to the evictions themselves, including in cases of longstanding tenancies, and often present in series of identical sentences, which do not take the individual facts of

BARROS, Joana; SILVA, Evanildo Barbosa da; DUARTE, Lívia (Org.). Caderno de debates 3: Cidades, indústrias e os impactos do desenvolvimento brasileiro. Rio de Janeiro, 2014. Available at: https://br.boell.org/sites/default/files/caderno_debates3_fase_bollbrasil.pdf. Accessed 4 October de 2016. 5 Idem. Ibidem.


each case into account. These also often fail to provide any form of compensation for families who had inhabited these lands for generations, painting them like squatters. This is founded upon the precept that impoverished and vulnerable peasants, many without access to formal education or adequate sources of information, would or should have known that the lands they were occupying were registered to the company. Specific cases of violations in traditional communities - Engenho Ilha, Porto do Açúcar and Ilha de Tatuoca illustrate how CIPS and government authorities act in the tenure restitution processes.

The Community of Engenho Ilha survives from agriculture, fishing and harvesting of fruits and seafood in the mangrove. Since 2013 it has been prevented from accessing the mangrove and fruit area, a territory historically used in a communitarian way for the benefit of all families, consisting, in accordance with ILO Convention 169, as the "living territory of that community"

Ilha de Tatuoca: The process of expulsion of the families was portrayed in the documentary "Tatuoca, Uma Ilha Roubada" (2014). The restitution of tenure against the last neighbor of the community was executed on March 30, 2016. It occurred in an ostensive and violent way with police armed with machine guns and militia described in the video produced by Forum Suape and Both ENDS6.

Porto do Açúcar: There were recent tenure restitutions in that area. It is still possible to find, under debris, kitchens, refrigerators, sofas, baby strollers and other personal items, which shows that the authorities did not even wait for the already impoverished families to remove their sparse belongings from the houses before demolishing them.

b. Ecocide promoted by CIPS – Description of the environmental impact and repercussions on traditional activities and sustainability. 19.


The environmental impacts are also innumerable and of great proportions, since the implantation of the port and the infrastructure for the industrial complex in an area of estuaries of four great rivers (Massangana, Tatuoca, Ipojuca and Merepe) entailed the suppression of a vast extension of native vegetation (mangrove, Atlantic forest and marsh), as well as embankments, dredging and dams. Such works caused a drastic alteration in the hydrodynamics of the region, inasmuch as they practically eliminated the natural connection between the rivers and their contact (especially the Merepe and the Ipojuca) with the sea.

Available at <”TATUOCA, UMA ILHA ROUBADA”. 2016. Forumsuape.Ning.Com. http://forumsuapr.ning.com/video/tatuoca-uma-ilha-roubada.>. Accessed 4 October 2016.










Mangroves, the biome most affected by the construction of the port industrial complex (totaling about 3 thousand hectares affected), are areas of great biodiversity richness, true natural incubators for a number of freshwater and saltwater species. Due to their enormous ecological importance, they are considered as Permanent Prevention Areas (APP), protected by law, and their removal is permitted only by law authorizing it (for cases considered to be Public Utility and Social Interest), or with due environmental compensation. As a form of environmental compensation for the destruction of the extensive area of natural flora, the company claims to have created three conservation areas which will include the remaining areas already protected by law, given their APP status. CIPS does not forecast financing of the reforestation of an area corresponding to their liability under §2.º confirmed under art. 8.º of the law that governs forestation in the state of Pernambuco (Law 11.206/1995). This situation is aggravated by the rapid commercialization of the area (today there are 96 businesses in operation) and the absence of comprehensive studies into its cumulative impact. The presence of so many projects in one place increases the demand for water, putting more pressure on water resources. In addition, byproducts and industrial waste are disposed of into the local environment contaminating the water and land and jeopardizing traditional populations as well as the remaining flora and fauna. Among the activities of enormous environmental impact are the dredging of deepening and maintenance of the internal and external access channels for the ships to the port, as well as of the maneuver basins and shipyards. Dredging and underwater clearing operations also release toxins from industrial waste previously deposited on the seabed. These noxious chemicals enter the estuarine and coastal food chains by contaminating various aquatic species, including some used in food and as a livelihood for local people (such as mollusks, mussels, crustaceans and fish). A further consequence is the deterioration of marine ecosystems from increases in water turbidity and reduction of sunlight penetration thereby diminishing in the photosynthetic capacity of the algaes present and, in turn, lowering levels of oxygen in the water. The sites chosen for the disposal of industrial by-products coincide with local communities’ fishing zones, recognized in official nautical charts. In doing this, CIPS has buried breeding zones of many species, such as lobsters, which previously sustained hundreds of traditional fishing families. The illegal usage of explosive charges has contributed to the declination of coastal and marine ecosystems through the destruction of rocky reefs and alterations of water currents. Changes in marine and coastal ecosystems caused by CIPS interventions resulted in a significant decline in offshore fisheries productivity, equivalent to at least 50% reduction, according to fishers. However, they are not restricted to the financial aspect, affecting above all the model of life of these traditional communities, also covering, among other aspects, the health of women who fish, which, because of the



specific type of fishing they generally exercise - Of shellfish - are directly exposed by contact with water contaminated by effluents and sediments. The remaining population of fishermen saw their fishing efforts increase significantly by the lack of access to their traditional territories, already destroyed or blocked by CIPS. They are forced to travel long distances to get the fish and are vulnerable to the violence of the CIPS militia, often having their equipment and fish products stolen. Considerations of human rights violations by the CIPS: Expansion with inadequate planning, economic growth based on a non-inclusive ‘predatory model’, environmental devastation from “dirty” industries (petroleum and gas industry, electricity from fossil fuels, and shipyards) are all hallmarks of CIPS. Serious environmental impacts and mass expulsions of the native population have been the byproducts of the so-called "progress and development" by the manager of the company, in this case, the Pernambuco state government. a. Consequences of the violations for traditional villages






The environmental destruction caused by CIPS has had massive impact on traditional ways of life and work for the communities whose culture and livelihoods formerly existed in harmony with nature. The violations suffered by these communities clearly demonstrates the flagrant disregard towards national and international legislation protecting human rights, including: food sovereignty rights, the right to alimentation, the right to adequate housing, the right to information, the right to transparency and direct participation of those affected in intervention in their communities and provision of alternatives thereof. This affirms that the majority of the families violated by the actions of both CIPS and the State are characterized as traditional communities, and are thereby protected by ILO Convention 169 which was promulgated in Brazil via decree nº 5.051/2004, with particular regard to the prohibition of forced eviction and the requirements for both prior consultation and respect for traditional ways of life. Likewise, decree nº. 8.750/2016 expressly classifies artisanal fishermen as traditional peoples. The destruction of fishing spots and the prohibition of fishing territories reinforces CIPS's disregard for regulations that safeguard traditional communities. Many of the families who have already been evicted now live lives of hardship, hunger and poverty on the peripheries of the Cabo de Santo Agostinho and Ipojuca districts. There has been no resettlement in areas that could be considered equal or superior to the original location in the vast majority of cases. The relatively few resettlements that have taken place have been to areas that are difficult to access, distant from the original location and on lands that are difficult to cultivate and, therefore, survive on. In other cases, the compensation offered to the villages that lived from the land and fishing are houses measuring 39m² in urban regions, far from the sea and areas

suitable for agriculture.

b. Impacts and violations on non-traditional populations 35. Another massive problem brought about by the installation of enterprises in the





Suape Complex was the population boom experienced in the region. Huge amounts of labor from other cities and states came on to meet the demand for temporary workers, mainly in civil construction. This influx was met with insufficient infrastructure in these cities. The Pernambuco Planning Agency, Condepe/Fidem, estimates that there is a housing deficit of around 38,000 residents in the eight strategic areas of the Complex. This number could grow to 85,000 by 2035, if economic growth and investment in housing continues at present levels 7. The situation becomes even more concerning when considering the fact that part of the homeless population in the region is composed of native families who have been expelled from their lands. The process of eviction and the housing crisis have forced many to occupy public lands, often in conservation areas. The lack of infrastructure to support the strong population influx has also contributed to an increase in violent crime rates. According to the 2016 Violence Map8, Pernambuco rose to 10th place on the list of Brazilian states with highest levels of murder, above the national average. According to the report, one of the reasons for the rise in criminality in regions like Pernambuco was the growth of new projects like CIPS9. Similarly, the Violence Map indicates that Cabo de Santo Agostinho, where the majority of the enterprise is located, is the most violent municipality in Pernambuco and the 49th in Brazil. This rise in violent crime has mainly affected women, children and teenagers in the areas under the influence of CIPS. The arrival of more than 40,00010 men from diverse regions looking to work on CIPS’s construction projects has caused a spike in the levels of prostitution, rape, and pregnancies in girls and teenage women. The health implications are also evident with the increase in sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS, in addition to the chemical dependence generated by the use of drugs and narcotics. Linked to the tragedy of hundreds of girls marked by a life of lack of love and poverty, is the birth of so many children born of precocious and unwanted pregnancies, who come to the world already marked by abandonment. Those children are known as "children of Suape".

BARROS, Joana; SILVA, Evanildo Barbosa da; DUARTE, Lívia. Caderno de debates 3: Cidades, indústrias e os impactos do desenvolvimiento brasileiro. Rio de Janeiro, 2014. Available at https://br.boell.org/sites/default/files/caderno_debates3_fase_bollbrasil.pdf. Accessed 4th October 2016. 8 Mapa da Violência 2016. Available at http://www.mapadaviolencia.org.br/pdf2016/Mapa2016_armas_web.pdf. Accessed 4th October 2016. 9 Idem, ibidem. P.26. 10 Action Aid. Linha de Base Campanha Cidades Seguras para as Mulheres. Available at http://www.actionaid.org.br/sites/sites/files/actionaid/linha_de_base_webv.pdf. p.8.

c. Violence and threats against human and environmental rights advocates 39.

Brazil is recognized as one of the countries with the most cases of violence and murder against those who defend human rights and environmental rights. According to the OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in recent years, the killings of human rights defenders in the country have increased substantially, putting Brazil ahead of historically violent countries such as Colombia and Mexico. Data from the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) indicates that 2015 saw 50 murders, 159 threats and 59 attempted murders motivated by conflicts over land. These statistics exclude other conflicts: The Global Witness Report11 cites Brazil as the leader in murders of environmentalists. The numbers during 2002-2013 are higher than the number of murders and disappearances during the period of Brazilian dictatorship (1964-1985).


The territory of influence of CIPS does not differ from this statistic. Coercion and violence are common to human rights and environmental defenders in the region. They are registered in testimonies in videos (available at Forum Suape’s website: www.forumsuape.ning.com), police reports and in public hearings. In some cases, Forum Suape had to resort to the support of international organizations, but the threats continue.

IV. Recommendations A.




E. F.


That the Brazilian State refrain from sponsoring economic development projects that violate the rights of traditional populations, indigenous peoples, workers and cause damage to the environment. Adoption of effective measures to ensure the maintenance of traditional local lifestyles and safeguard the fundamental rights and well-being of the populations within the CIPS area of influence. That the Brazilian State adopt, through its Judiciary, appropriate punitive measures in the face of the systematic process of ecocide practiced by the CIPS, attributing due responsibilities to the different agents of the State in the legislative, executive and judicial instances. Adopt measures for the immediate abolition of all types of violence practiced by State agents and CIPS companies, including by signing and observing international commitments to regulate the use of private security forces, so that these act in conformity with human rights. Recognize and redress the injustices and violations of human and environmental rights practiced against traditional populations in the CIPS area of influence. Recognize that the right to own land and of wellbeing of traditional communities (established in the CIPS area of influence) constitutes an inalienable right, since they are territories of these populations and reproduce their cultures, beliefs , health and livelihood.

Available at . Accessed 4th October 2016.



I. J.



Immediately adopt measures specifically addressing violence against women, combating the occurrences of rape and coercion. Ensure women's right to come and go, access to safety, health and education. Adopt specific policies to enable young people to perpetuate their families' beliefs and livelihoods, with access to essential health services, vocational training and school, leisure, security and maintenance of their social bonds. Act to guarantee the physical safety of human and environmental rights defenders in all state proceedings with respect to the right to freedom of expression. Comply with the international instruments and international agreements signed by the country, including the OECD Corporate Responsibility Mechanisms; ILO Convention 169; The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); The Ramsar Convention for Wetlands, which recommends the protection of marine and coastal environments, along with the recognition of traditional cultures and the rational use of natural resources. Regulate the conduct of state enterprises so that they are obliged to (i) adopt a human rights policy and (ii) perform due diligence on human rights, in addition to observing the mechanisms related to consultation and participation of communities in the processes of reparation of human rights violations. Adopt measures for public banks, state pension funds and other state development agencies to evaluate their investments based on the potential impacts they may have on human rights and to ensure, in case of violations, suspension of funding or Investment, based on own monitoring and consultation processes, independent of the reports sent by the beneficiaries.