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Illegal logging and cattle ranching in TI Karipuna and Jací-Paraná, Rondônia, Brazil

Illegal logging and cattle ranching have already destroyed half of the Resex Jací-Paraná and are now on the rise in the TI Karipuna. Despite international mobilization and the fear of indigenous genocide, invasions continue with impunity.


The Karipuna Indigenous Territory, located in Rondônia along the Jaci Paraná river, is currently one of Brazil’s most targeted areas by illegal logging and the common practice of grilagem – the illegal and irregular private appropriation of public land, usually through the falsification of documents to claim ownership over grabbed land. At the same time, the neighboring Jací-Paraná "extractivist reserve", traditionally home to rubber tappers, has been facing invasions already for a longer time and is now half-deforested.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Illegal logging and cattle ranching in TI Karipuna and Jací-Paraná, Rondônia, Brazil
State or province:Rondônia
Location of conflict:TI Karipuna & Resex Jací-Paraná (Porto Velho / Nova Mamoré / Buritis)
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Mineral ore exploration
Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Land acquisition conflicts
Logging and non timber extraction
Specific commodities:Land
Live Animals
Project Details and Actors
Project details

As outlined, the Terra Indígena Karipuna is demarcated since 1997 and faces intensified invasions since 2015. Destruction in the neighboring Jací-Paraná extractivist reserve has already advanced further and taken half of the area, although the patterns of the “invasion project” are mostly the same: In a first wave, loggers take out valuable timber and then clear the forest and set fires to create pasture. Land grabbers occupy the land by placing cattle in the area and/or try to register the land through the falsification of documents and political lobbying to later sell it to farmers. Local communities, competitors and law-enforcement units are threatened with violence if necessary. To hide large-scale schemes and illegal practices, invasions and registration of land titles or cattle are often done by or in name of straw man or rural producer associations, such as the Associação dos Produtores Rurais Boa Esperança in one detected case in the TI Karipuna.

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Project area:350,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:several hundred
Start of the conflict:2002
Relevant government actors:Federal Police
Secretariat of Environmental Development (SEDAM)
Public Ministry
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Associação Apoika –povo Karipuna
CIMI Rondônia
Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT)
Coordenação das Organizações Indígenas da Amazônia Brasileira (Coiab)
Organização dos Povos Indígenas de Rondônia, noroeste do Mato Grosso e sul do Amazonas (Opiroma)
Digital Democracy
International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Both Ends
Maryland University
Coordenação das Organizações Indígenas da Bacia Amazônica (Coica)
Artigo 19
Organização dos Seringueiros de Rondônia –OSR
SOS Amazônia
Grupo de Trabalho Amazônico –GTA/RO
O Eco
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Karipuna indigenous community
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development 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
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Boycotts of companies-products
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Fires, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Desertification/Drought, Global warming, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Accidents, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Infectious diseases, Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Criminalization of activists
Institutional changes
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (undecided)
New legislation
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The TI Karipuna seems to be one of the first and most emblematic cases when it comes to attempts by grileiros to invade and claim indigenous territories, a practice that is now being replicated across the Amazon region. Although the small remaining community - affected by historical injustice and violence - has made numerous denunciations, and a broad coalition of national and international organizations has raised public attention to the conflict, invasions and destruction are ongoing.

The neighboring Resex Jací-Paraná shows an even more concerning level of destruction and how the political legitimization of criminal land grabbing practices can be directly linked to the timber and meat consumer chains. The taking over of industrial agriculture thereby increasingly pressures, jeopardizes and supersedes practiced sustainable extractivism by traditional communities, and a similar development is feared for the Karipuna community.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[12] Araújo, E.; Barreto, P.; Baima, S.; Gomes, M. (2017): Unidades de Conservação mais desmatadas da Amazônia Legal (2012-2015). Belem: Imazon.
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[7] Greenpeace (2019): Grileiros intensificam invasão na Terra Indígena Karipuna, em Rondônia. 24.01.2019. Online, last accessed: 18.09.2019.
[click to view]

[8] Neto, G. (2019): Organização criminosa invade Terras Indígenas em Rondônia. Revista UHU On-line, 17.01.2019. Online, last accessed: 18.09.2019.
[click to view]

[3] Aranda, A. (2017): Povo Karipuna vive iminência de genocídio em Rondônia. CIMI, 27.09.2017. Online, last accessed: 18.09.2019.
[click to view]

[4] Bonilha, P. (2018): Adriano Karipuna: resistencia indígena en Brasil. Believe Earth Magazine, 26.04.2018. Online, last accessed: 18.09.2019.
[click to view]

[5] CIMI (2018): Mais de 10 mil hectares de floresta já foram destruídos na Terra Indígena Karipuna. 26.07.2018. Online, last accessed: 18.09.2019.
[click to view]

[6] Greenpeace (2018): Em Brasília, indígenas Karipuna denunciam loteamento e roubo de madeira em terra demarcada há 28 anos. 14.03.2018. Online, last accessed: 18.09.2019.
[click to view]

[9] Soares, J. (2019): A luta dos caripunas para manter suas terras na Amazônia. Globo Epoca, 02.05.2019. Online, last accessed: 18.09.2019.
[click to view]

[10] Barros, M. (2019): Operação SOS Karipuna investiga organizações criminosas que atuavam em terra indígena em Rondônia. Press note by the Federal Police via DefesaTV, 20.06.2019. Online, last accessed: 18.09.2019.
[click to view]

[1] ISA (2019): Karipuna de Rondônia. Online, last accessed: 18.09.2019.
[click to view]

[2] Faleiros, G. (2019): Operação cerca-índio. InfoAmaznia, 07.05.2019.Online, last accessed: 18.09.2019.
[click to view]

[13] Rede GTA (2014): Carta aberta Grupo de Trabalho Amazônico – GTA/RO. Online, last accessed: 18.09.2019.
[click to view]

[14] Imazon (2019): Boletim do Desmatamento da Amazônia Legal (julho 2019) SAD. Online, last accessed: 18.09.2019.
[click to view]

[17] Bonilha, P.; Miotto, T. (2019): Povos indígenas de Rondônia se comprometem com proteção do território Karipuna. Greenpeace Brasil, 15.04.2019. Online, last accessed: 18.09.2019.
[click to view]

[15] Imazon (2019): Boletim do Desmatamento da Amazônia Legal (junho 2019) SAD. Online, last accessed: 18.09.2019.
[click to view]

[16] ISA (2019): ISA mostra Terras Indígenas mais afetadas por incêndios na Amazônia brasileira. 23.08.2019. Online, last accessed: 18.09.2019.
[click to view]

[18] Greenpeace (2018): Coloque você também os olhos na Amazônia. 18.08.2019. Online, last accessed: 18.09.2019.
[click to view]

[19] Azevedo, D. (2019): Ibama e Exército fazem novas apreensões na Terra Indígena Karipuna. 02.07.2019. Online, last accessed: 18.09.2019.
[click to view]

[11] Wenzel, F. (2018): Sai extrativista, entra boi: a lei do mais forte em uma reserva extrativista de Rondônia. O Eco, 04.12.2018. Online, last accessed: 18.09.2019.
[click to view]

[20] Mensagem Final do I Encontro na Terra Indígena Karipuna, 6 de abril de 2019. Online, last accessed: 18.09.2019.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Video: “Políticos de Rondônia apóiam invasores da Resex Jaci-Paraná” (O Eco, 2018)
[click to view]

Video: “Karipuna - Land of resistants” (InfoAmazonia, 2019)
[click to view]

Video: “engenheiro promete legalizar terra indígena karipuna em Rondônia união bandeirante”
[click to view]

Video: “Extrativistas são ameaçados por pecuaristas dentro da Resex Jaci-Paraná, em Rondônia” (O Eco, 2018)
[click to view]

Video: “Etnia brasileña caripuna en riesgo de desaparecer por el extractivismo” (teleSurTV, 2018)
[click to view]

Other documents

A demonstration of indigenous groups in Port Velho, 2018. Demands included action against loggers in TI Karipuna (Globo G1)
[click to view]

Destroyed land in TI Karipuna (Christian Braga; Greenpeace)
[click to view]

An open land plot within the territory (CIMI Regional Rondônia)
[click to view]

André Karipuna and the community have denounced illegal logging (Rogério Assis; Greenpeace)
[click to view]

Adriano Karipuna speaking at the United Nations (Luiz Roberto Lima; Greenpeace)
[click to view]

Karipuna and Jací-Paraná: among the deforestation hotspots in July 2019 (Imazon)
[click to view]

A JBS map showing cattle ranching inside protected areas (JBS / 'O Eco' - JBS changed the map saying it was inaccurate after 'O Eco' revealed the case in 2018)
[click to view]

Deforestation in Jací-Paraná between 2012-2015
[click to view]

Fire in Jací-Paraná in August 2019 (Marcio Isensee e Sá)
[click to view]

Cleared forest in TI Karipuna (Christian Braga, Greenpeace)
[click to view]

First regional encounter of indigenous groups in TI Karipuna, 2019 (Fernanda Ligabue; Greenpeace)
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EnvJustice Project (MS)
Last update06/10/2019
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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