Sugar production doubled in Brazil between 2000 and 2010, driven by rising international sugar prices and domestic demand for ethanol, which is widely used in motor vehicles. As a consequence, the area of land planted with sugar cane expanded rapidly and land conflicts became a problem, due to the lack of state presence in many areas; uncertainty over land ownership; the power of agribusinesses; and land grabbing of indigenous communities or small farmers. A land conflict has been ongoing since the 1990s between Usina Trapiche S.A. and the fishing community in the municipality of Sirinhaém, on the southern coast of Pernambuco. The area of the conflict is an estuary of the Sirinhaém River, near the coast, which supports a mangrove ecosystem rich in biodiversity where since 1914 traditional families of mixed indigenous and African heritage lived a subsistence lifestyle on 17 islands spread throughout the estuary. According to the fisherfolk, Trapiche expelled them from the estuary of Sirinhaém and has also been pouring chemicals and pesticides into the water, making the fishing activity impossible. In 1998 Usina Trapiche began to petition the state for rights over the estuary and islands . According to the islanders, members of Trapiche’s private militia began destroying their homes and small farms. In January 2007, these families managed to suspend the ‘aforamento’ based on the requirement of the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) for the establishment of an Extractive Reserve. The RESEX was approved by The Chico Mendes Institute for Conservation of Biodiversity (ICMBio) in 2009 although no action has been taken by the state. Trapiche did relocate most of the families in favelas on a steep hillside on the outskirts of the Sirinhaém, where they have no land for basic subsistence crops. Families were given small and basic homes with bars on their windows. While they are now much closer to the market, they complain of the distance they have to travel to the mangrove to collect enough fish and to sell in the market. The islanders now depend much more on the income earned which they need in order to buy the basics of their sustenance which they previously provided for themselves. In 2008, the IBAMA fined $500,000 Trapiche for water contamination and one year later (in November 2009) found organic waste and industrial chemicals that were being dumped by Trapiche into the estuary of Sirinhaém River. In December 2010, Federal Public Prosecutors in Pernambuco started an investigation into the environmental damage caused by Trapiche in the estuary of Sirinhaém and in 2011, the Pernambuco State Environmental Agency also fined Trapiche for the environmental damage. On April 2011, Tractors Trapiche was captured when opening a clandestine road parallel to Riacho Sibiró which crosses the Atlantic Forest and mangrove area in Sirinhaém. Such an act has caused deforestation and destruction of native vegetation. Besides, much water is used and the production of ethanol causes pollution of water resources.