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Brazil: Suape Port Complex is investigated for militia training, forced eviction, damage to homes and restrictions on land use; Suape, Van Oord & other companies comment
Author: Thais Lazzeri, Repórter Brasil (Brazil), Published on: 6 December 2017
"The crooked paths of Suape-Residents of traditional communities in Pernambuco denounce the government-run industrial complex for human rights violations, such as threats and evictions; accusations reach the UN", 28 November 2017
...Residents who resist tell of serious violations, including threats – sometimes with...guns – made by employees of the complex...[:]...restrictions on access to the land, unauthorized charges and demolitions without warrants...[T]raditional communities...filed complaints against Suape to the Federal Prosecutor's Office. "The state of Pernambuco, through the Suape company, is currently the leading violator of human rights in the country," said Heitor Scalambrini,...coordinator of the Suape Forum. Since it violates the UN Sustainable Development Goals, civil society organizations have chosen Suape as a symbolic case... "...[T]he communities did not participate in the decision-making and there was no transparency in the resettlement...," said...Flavia Scabin, coordinator of the Research Group on Business and Human Rights at the Foundation Getulio Vargas...[F]amilies have also been prevented from rebuilding their own houses or from making renovations by the company's security guards, which the population calls a militia...Vera Lúcia Melo,...a leader of the Engenho Ilha community, entered the People Protection Program after she received threats...[W]itnesses claim that security guards were working together with employees from the...government...and...armed military...Two companies are responsible for surveillance...TKS Segurança and Liserve...[and]...have 260 men...Suape said...it condemns "the use of violence against the native families in the region",...its employees do not carry weapons...and...demolitions only occur after agreements...in court. Liserve is also named in one of the police reports...[,]...denied the charges...and informed...[it]...supervise[s]...the 170 guards of TKS Segurança...[T]he Liserve lawyer admitted...the employees photograph...houses of "trespassers" or...of residents who put extensions on their houses...Rota do Atlântico Concessionaire...manages the roads leading to the quilombo...[and]...charges tolls from some residents who should all be exempt from this charge...[and] said...it fully complies with the conditions established by the Pernambuco state government. Suape informed that "it is engaged in dialogue with the authorities involved in order to adjust its provisions to the reality of the region"...Suape Energia...told us that "properties occupied by a single family in the area around the project are the responsibility" of Suape...Suape Forum lawyer Luisa Duque said community leaders are now being criminalized...More than 80 families were removed from the island to make way for progress...[and]...accuse Suape and...company Diagonal − Transformação de Territórios...of lying or omitting information...In...one family...the matriarchs returned to the island and...committed suicide... Suape said it is unaware of...such complaint and that Diagonal-Ceplan "has no authority to make promises on behalf of Suape". Diagonal...informed that "the company did not make 'promises' but...advised the community..."...Four institutions – two national and the two international organizations Conectas and Both Ends – denounced Suape and the Dutch company Van Oord,...contracted to dredge the port, to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)... Van Oord informed..."the parties...are engaged in a mediation process...subject to confidentiality."...Unesco...signed a R$1.3 million international technical cooperation agreement with Suape and the state government...[and]...said that the technical support "does not involve any direct action of Unesco in the day-to-day management of Suape"...
[It refers to Atlântico Sul, Atradius Dutch State Business, Energética Suape II S/A and Promar]