Celtejo's SLAPP against Arlindo Marques - Celulose do Tejo, SA, Portugal

Pulp mill operator, Celtejo (Altri Group), sued an environmentalist for €250,000 in compensation for his allegation that pollution levels in the Tejo River are unacceptable.


His activity of disclosure and denunciation in the social networks of environmental crimes by pollution of the river Tagus has earned Arlindo Marques a legal action filed in by the company CELTEJO - Empresa de Celulose do Tejo, SA, belonging to the ALTRI Group, for offenses to its credibility and good name, claiming the payment of an indemnity of 250 thousand euros.

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Basic Data
NameCeltejo's SLAPP against Arlindo Marques - Celulose do Tejo, SA, Portugal
ProvinceCastelo Branco
SiteVila Velha de Ródão
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Manufacturing activities
Specific CommoditiesWater
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsAccording to the company, "Celtejo Company belongs to Altri Group. Altri is an European benchmark producer in the pulp sector, one of the most efficient producers in Europe of bleached eucalyptus pulp.".

Here a public letter describing the current conflicts in 2017-18.

" Solidarity with Arlindo Consolado Marques in the suit filed by Celtejo-Empresa de Celulose do Tejo, SA, of the ALTRI Group.

Dear friends of the Tagus, Arlindo Consolado Marques, a member and secretary of the board of the Deliberative Council of the proTEJO, is a riverine citizen of the Tagus who truly loves the Tagus, having lived on the Tagus River and lived with the river throughout his life. Since the beginning of 2015 he has been reporting to the competent authorities the extensive and serious pollution that he began to observe on the river Tagus, which began recording on video and disseminating on social networks so that we could all know of the pitiful state that the river Tagus had arrived.

In many of the situations recorded in video and reported by Arlindo Consolado Marques, there is a strong suspicion that the existing pollution in the river Tagus comes from CELTEJO - Celulose do Tejo, SA, belonging to the ALTRI Group, or associated paper industries since this company was signaled by the Portuguese Environment Agency as a significant contributor to pollution occurrences in the Tagus River.

Unbelievably CELTEJO filed a lawsuit against Arlindo Consolado Marques for insults to its credibility and good name as a consequence of the denunciations that the same has made and divulged in the social networks on the pollution of the river Tagus, demanding the payment of a compensation of 250 thousand euros.

This action against Arlindo Consolado Marques is an action against all the citizens of Portugal and Spain who defend the river Tagus and against all defenders of the environment, consisting of an act of intimidation that tries to condition the constitutional right that all citizens have to express freely their opinion and the constitutional duty of all citizens to defend the environment.

Therefore, we must all be in solidarity with Arlindo Consolado Marques by committing us to take all steps so that he is not condemned for exercising his citizenship and for the action brought by CELTEJO to be an opportunity for a full clarification on the responsibilities for pollution of the Tagus River.

This is the time to repay and join us all to help defending Arlindo Consolado Marques as he has defended the Tagus River and its tributaries.

We call on all the citizens of the riverside communities of the river Tagus and its tributaries, in Portugal and Spain, to show solidarity now to help and defend those who, at the risk of their own lives, protect our rivers.

Arlindo Consolado Marques deserves and the Tagus also deserves it!

Type of PopulationRural
Start Date01/01/2015
Company Names or State EnterprisesCELTEJO - Empresa de Celulose do Tejo, SA from Portugal - Filed an action against Arlindo Marques for offenses to its credibility and good name, claiming the payment of an indemnity of 250 thousand euros.
Relevant government actorsPortugal's Environment Agency - Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente (APA

Portugal's Minister of Environment
Environmental justice organisations and other supporterspro-Tejo, environmental justice organization.


PAN, Portugal's Animals and Nature political party.

Movimento Pescadores pelo Tejo.
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingNeighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Other Environmental impacts, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
OtherWater pollution and aquatic ecosystems damages. Massive fish deaths (3).
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Other socio-economic impacts
Potential: Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
OtherDamage of leisure activities and of tourism and nature industry
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Court decision (undecided)
Strengthening of participation
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Celtejo is suing environmental defenders who complain about water pollution from cellulose production.

Damages to fisheries from pollution estimated at 100 million euros over three years (4).
Sources and Materials

(2) New Algarve Dailynews, 22 Dec. 2017
[click to view]

Sou Arlindo Marques: contra a violação de direitos da parte da empresa CELTEJO. 31/01/2018. O GAIA junta-se à campanha de solidariedade com o defensor do rio Tejo Arlindo Marques , contra a repressão por parte da empresa CELTEJO.
[click to view]

(4) O O Movimento Pescadores pelo Tejo reclama uma indemnização de mais de 100 milhões de euros à Celtejo em virtude da poluição no rio, ao longo dos últimos três anos. A queixa contra a empresa e o Estado português foi aceite esta quinta-feira no Tribunal Europeu, confirmou ao JN o representante dos pescadores. 2 Febr. 2018, Paulo Lorenço.
[click to view]

Media Links

Quercus chocada e indignada com processo judicial da Celtejo (Grupo ALTRI) ao cidadão Arlindo Marques do Movimento ambientalista ProTEJO. O movimento ProTEJO foi Prémio Quercus em 2017
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(3) Nova mortandade de peixes no Rio Tejo. Movimento proTejo exige ao governo medidas para impedir a continuação da poluição do rio Tejo, Bloco de Esquerda quer a “imediata redução da produção da empresa Celtejo” e requer a ida do ministro do Ambiente à respetiva comissão parlamentar. 3 de Novembro, 2017
[click to view]

Poluição no Tejo gera queixa-crime e denúncia à Comissão Europeia. O Movimento proTEJO denuncia que o Ministro do Ambiente "não dá resposta nem intervém com medidas eficazes para acabar com as descargas poluentes" no rio. Queixa-crime será entregue na Procuradoria-Geral da República, "por crime ambiental e grave problema de saúde pública", devido a extrema poluição do Rio Tejo. 20 de Novembro, 2017
[click to view]

Other Documents

População quis mostrar à Celtejo “que o rio Tejo não é o esgoto deles".

Centenas de pessoas participaram numa manifestação em Vila Velha de Ródão contra a poluição no Tejo, que terminou junto à empresa de pasta de papel apontada como autora de descargas ilegais. 4 de Março, 2017
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Other CommentsPulping company stirs up a stink with defamation action against “Guardian of the Tejo”. 24 Dec. 2017. http://portugalresident.com/pulping-company-stirs-up-a-stink-with-defamation-action-against-%E2%80%9Cguardian-of-the-tejo%E2%80%9D
Meta Information
ContributorproTEJO - Movimento pelo Tejo
Last update14/02/2018