This week I’m joining thousands of other Quilombola and indigenous people on the streets of Belém, a city in the northern Pará State, to take part in a three-day protest to highlight the Brazilian government’s unnecessarily long bureaucratic delays in granting Quilombola communities legal title to their own land.
This is an ongoing problem that often leaves communities like mine without formal title to the land. That, in turn, leaves the door open to big business to undertake potentially environmentally damaging exploratory work, with potentially devastating consequences for our way of life.
This is exactly what is happening now here in Oriximiná. Bauxite producing mining company Mineraçao Rio do Norte (MRN) – its key shareholders include FTSE 100-listed BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto Alcan, which between them own nearly a quarter of the company – has recently started exploratory work on the land where we live