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Monoculture of sugar cane in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil


In the region of Ribeiro Preto, So Paulo State, there are 21 processing plants of sugarcane for ethanol production. Workers are required to work intensively, causing several cases of death by exhaustion. They are subjected up to 17 working hours per day, which cause musculoskeletal system diseases, tendonitis, respiratory diseases, deformities and diseases on the vocal cords.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Monoculture of sugar cane in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil
State or province:Sao Paolo
Location of conflict:RIBEIRO PRETO
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:Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Agro-fuels and biomass energy plants
Specific commodities:Sugar
Project Details and Actors
Project details

units of sugar cane processing plants are in operation.

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Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:2007
Relevant government actors:Universidade Estadual Paulista - UNESP, Ministerio Publico Estadual - MPESP, Secretaria da Sade de RIBEIRO PRETO, Ministerio do Trabalho e Emprego, National Alcohol Programme , Agribusiness Council of the Federation of Industries of the state of So Paulo
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Relatoria Nacional para o Direito Humano ao Trabalho, Plataforma Dhesca Brasil, Rede Brasileira de Justica Ambiental - RBJA, Pastoral do Migrante, ONG Reporter Brasil
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
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
Boycotts of companies-products
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Fires, Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Soil erosion, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths
Potential: Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Violations of human rights
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Sugar cane plantations are operating
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Lei 11241/02 | Lei n. 11.241, de 19 de setembro de 2002 de Sao Paulo. Dispe sobre a eliminao gradativa da queima da palha da cana-de-acar e d outras providencias. Disponvel em
[click to view]

Assemblia Legislativa do Estado de So Paulo

Comissao Parlamentar de Inqurito CPI Reavaliao dos prazos para eliminao gradativa da queima da palha da cana-de-acar. Relatrio Final dos Trabalhos da CPI da Queima da Palha da Cana
[click to view]

PODER JUDICIRIO TRIBUNAL DE JUSTIA DE SO PAULO. VOTO n 19.997 Ao Direta de Inconstitucionalidade n 129.132.0/3, de So Paulo. Autores: SINDICATO da indstria da fabricao de alcool do estado de So Paulo e outro rus.

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

XAVIER Leiliane C. Ferraz ; BARONE, Lus A. Sobre o mundo do trabalho a territorializao do trabalho no corte da cana no pontal do paranapanema/sp notas de uma pesquisa, Revista Pegada vol. 9 n.2 1 Dezembro/2008 Disponvel em:
[click to view]

MST. Mulheres da Via Campesina ocupam usina da Cargill em So Paulo.
[click to view]

Adital. FERREIRA, Manoel Eduardo Tavares. A queimada da cana e seu impacto socio-ambiental.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Diogo Rocha
Last update18/08/2019
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