Quilombolas in Brazil demand suspension of environmental license to mining activities in their lands
Within the Brazilian Amazon, in the municipality of Oriximiná, mining activity threatens local communities, forests and waterways. On April 11, 2017 Brazil’s largest bauxite mining company, Mineração Rio do Norte, filed an application for Environmental License for the extraction of bauxite in an area overlapping Quilombola Lands in Oriximiná. About 3,000 quilombolas (descendants of slaves who fled slavery in the 19 Century) may be directly impacted.
In reaction, quilombola leaders sent a letter to the Minister of the Environment demanding that environmental licensing be suspended immediately and that remain paralysed until the titling of their lands as guaranteed by the Constitution. The letter also requires National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform (Incra) to expedite the completion of the process of regularisation of their territories, which started more than 10 years ago.