Brazil: Biofuel joint venture by Shell & Cosan is allegedly buying sugarcane from rancher issuing death threats to opponents and growing sugarcane on occupied Guarani's ancestral land

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Company non-response
15 August 2012

Ralph Lauren did not respond to: Follow-up report on exploitation of child workers and Dalit children exposes lack of action by intl. clothing brands.

Article
16 June 2011

[DOC] Survival International statement in response to Raízen and Shell

Author: Survival Intl.

Shell says that the claim of the Guarani to their lands is “still being evaluated”, but it is now more than seven years since an official study established that the plantation is situated on land traditionally used and occupied by the Guarani. Sr Teixeira challenged this finding, but it was affirmed on appeal by FUNAI, the Brazilian government's department for indigenous affairs...Raizen says that it wishes to respect the “legitimate rights” both of the Guarani and of those with whom it does business. We can understand that. What we cannot understand is what right Sr Teixeira can possibly have to continue to exploit Guarani land for his own - and Raizen’s – profit while the Guarani themselves remained huddled on tiny fraction of their land, and in often desperate conditions.

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Company response
14 June 2011

Response from Raizen to article alleging death threats against opponents and production of ethanol in occupied land belonging to Guarani Indians by its supplier in Brazil

Author: Raizen (Cosan)

...Although Raízen is closely monitoring the issue which involves the sugar cane cropping at Santa Claudina’s farm, in Caarapó (MS), it is clear that the area in dispute by legitimacy of ownership does not belong to Raízen. It belongs to a local producer who rents it to a Raízen’s sugar cane supplier. Raízen understands this issue is extremely complex, sensitive and involves many parties. And it is under court decision. However, considering its influential role in the value chain, Raízen is talking to all relevant parties involved, aiming to promote the proper understanding between them, respecting both the legitimate rights of the indigenous population as well as the legal entities which Raízen has commercial and contractual relations. Raízen maintains its policy of dialogue with the parties ever.

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Company response
14 June 2011

Response from Shell to article alleging death threats against opponents and production of ethanol in occupied land belonging to Guarani Indians by its supplier in Brazil

Author: Shell

The issue is extremely complex, with a number of stakeholders involved in the on-going process and two parties who feel strongly they have legitimate claims to the land. With support from Shell and Cosan, Raizen is talking with all the relevant parties to try to find acceptable solutions that benefit the two most important groups, namely the indigenous people and the landowner. We cannot vouch for or against claims about specific comments or actions by individuals. We are aware of the underlying issue here, which relates to Raizen's plant in Caarapó in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, where one of the JV's suppliers is producing sugar cane in an area being evaluated by the Brazilian authorities for conversion into indigenous land. Background on Sustainable Production in Shell and Cosan Joint-Venture...

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Article
31 May 2011

Death threat from Shell supplier on Brazilian tribe’s land

Author: Survival International

A Brazilian rancher [

José Teixeira] supplying sugarcane to a joint venture partner of energy giant Shell has reportedly issued a death threat against a political opponent...Shell and Brazilian ethanol company Cosan are now united in a $12 billion joint venture company called Raizen, to produce ethanol to sell as a biofuel. Cosan is buying sugarcane grown on Guarani land that Teixeira continues to occupy. Survival has urged Shell and Cosan to stop using sugarcane grown on the Guarani’s land, but the companies continue to use it. The Guarani of Guyraroká community were evicted from their land decades ago by ranchers...The Guarani['s]...lives and livelihoods are at risk as they have very little space to plant crops or hunt game [and] chemicals used on the sugarcane plantations are polluting [their local] rivers...

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