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Marcela Leiros – from Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – A video sent to CENARIUM this Friday, 12, shows residents of a traditional community revolted by the death of two people after being crushed, in the Village Boa Esperança, in Penalva, Maranhão. According to the secretary-general of the Council of Extractive Populations (CNS), Dione Torquato, they are a mother and son who were crushed to death after a farmer ordered the felling of trees without authorization in the region.

The village is a traditional community which is part of the Enseada da Mata Extractive Reserve. According to Torquato, one of the victims was a coconut breaker: “We are investigating this, the motivation, for example, for the felling, and if the families were trying to prevent the felling, or if they were collecting [coconuts] at the moment and didn’t have time to leave the place”, explained Torquato, who also pointed out that the Federal Public Ministry has already been contacted.

In the video, it is possible to see the bodies of the victims next to each other. One of them, which appears to be a woman, is in a position as if she were sitting down, at the time of the incident, and with coconuts around her. In the images, the two bodies are surrounded by people revolted by the situation.

“We will publish a note of repudiation to the fact that occurred and we will take all measures, including the action of the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH), to investigate what, in fact, has been happening in the region”, concluded the secretary general of the CNS.

Watch the video:

In the CENARIUM interview, Torquato also said that the fact has also been reported to the State Secretary of Human Rights and the State Secretary of Environment. The report questioned both secretariats, and the Maranhão Civil Police, but did not receive a reply as of the publication of this article.

A recurring fact

In Maranhão, the practice of felling trees by tractors that drag the vegetation is recurrent. It is common for environmental activists and human rights defenders to denounce, through social networks, cases in which large machines cut down, uncontrollably and irregularly, vegetation.

On Friday, 12, lawyer Diogo Cabral posted on Twitter a video of a tractor with “correntões” – a controversial deforestation technique that allows the rapid removal of native vegetation through the use of chains attached to tractors – destroying part of the Cerrado in the state. The record occurred in the municipality of Aldeias Altas, in the eastern region of Maranhão.

On Wednesday, 10, the lawyer also shared another video, in which a tractor knocks down a palm tree in the quilombola territory of Santa Rosa dos Pretos, in Itapecuru-Mirim, in northern Maranhão. In the post, the lawyer warns that the omission of the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) in titling the traditional territory has resulted in “very serious agrarian conflicts”.