In a letter to the companies, the Indians warn that: “Since the factory began to operate, all our health has deteriorated – children, adults and animals. The growers never asked our permission or consulted us before planting on our land.”
The chemicals used on the sugarcane plantations are thought to be causing acute diarrhoea amongst Guarani children, and killing fish and plants.
Survival, the movement for tribal people, quoted a Guarani man from one of the affected communities as saying: “We want justice, we want our land to be mapped out and protected for us.”
Shell is united with Brazilian ethanol company Cosan, in a joint venture company called Raizen which grows some sugarcane used for ethanol on the Guarani’s ancestral land.
Brazil is the world’s top producer and exporter of sugar-based ethanol and much of the country’s vehicle fleet is built to run on either gas, ethanol or a combination of the two.
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