This agrarian conflict around the Seringal Capatará, a rural and forested area in the State of Acre, 40 km South of Rio Branco, involves at least 180 rubber tapper and farmer families and the cattle rancher Osvaldo Ribeiro who claims to be the land owner, including an area of at least 5,000 hectares that is in particular under dispute and occupied by the communities. The seringal (rubber plant) is located in the district of Capixaba, at the border to the district of Senador Guiomard, close to the highway BR 317 which connects Acre’s capital Rio Branco with the Brazilian-Peruvian-Bolivian border. 
Rubber tapper families have moved to the area decades ago without having official land titles. In many cases, they had practiced latex extraction elsewhere before coming to Seringal Capatará. After the economic potential of rubber was discovered in the late 19th century, Acre and other parts of the Amazon soon became well-known centers of latex extraction from rubber plantations, with Seringal Capatará to be first reported in 1899.   The rapidly extending rubber frontier traded on a system of semi-slavery, violently incorporating a large part of the indigenous population as workforce to then create dependencies.  The following period was characterized by the historical uprisings of rubber tappers fighting for better social and economic conditions and independence from Bolivia, nourishing the ground for the Acrean Revolution during which also the control over rubber plantations was disputed . The rubber economy however faced an economic crisis after 1915 and, while World War II brought a short boom, the Brazilian government declared the prioritization of agriculture in the 1960s, putting an end to many rubber plantations in Acre. The arrival of fazendeiros (farmers, ranchers) gradually expelled rubber tappers and renewed the land conflict . Many seringueiros (rubber tappers) moved to more interior parts of the plantations to become autonomous rubber tappers or small farmers, often occupying abandoned land as posseiros (landless workers who do not possess land titles).   In the Seringal Capatará, some individuals reported to have already spent more than 50 years there, others for more than 20 years, and others less. . People report that many have never accessed schooling, due to the lack of infrastructure and isolation. Some came because they simply wanted to survive; they were vainly waiting for resettlement after being expelled from their old home due to similar agrarian conflicts (in Acre alone, there were at least seven in 2013) and say that they do not see a way to make a living in the city. Others are part of families that have lived there for generations; and note for example that over the years the pressure from, but also the political influence of farmers has become stronger, nowadays controlling all the public institutions. Throughout the region, the historical rubber tree forest - of which the area is part of - is progressively being taken over by the expansion of cattle farming, and also the situation in the Seringal Capatará indicates an increasing importance of agriculture due to the inflow of landless farmers. 
While the region looks back at a long history of conflict of land issues and between ranchers and rubber tappers (e.g. the struggles of Chico Mendes and the rubber tapper movement), the start of the conflict in the Seringal Capatará can be traced back to the year 2004. According to posseiros who claim to have been living in the area under dispute for a long time without officially possessing land titles, the cattle farmer Osvaldo Ribeiro illegitimately began to present himself as the owner, threatening and pushing posseiros to carry out agreements that would confirm this.  It has been reported that he ‘offered’ them 75 hectares of land in order to get authorization of the rest, and that until that point some rubber tapper families had measured their territory only by the amount of rubber trees, which also gives an idea about the different historically emerged ideas of territory that coexist until today. The conflict simmered on until in 2009 new families came to the territory under dispute and, understanding it as public land. They started a peaceful occupation in order to live in and from the forest, dividing the land with posseiros that had already been living there.  Mobilization began shortly after when posseiros started to denounce the increasing threats by the owner against them. In a reportage by media platform O Rio Branco, people complained about the closure of a pathway that had been used for decades and was critical to access the city and agricultural production, the destruction of gardens and death threats in case of staying on the territory by gunmen of the rancher.  Also the burning of houses and physical violence were reported.  The workers union Central Única dos Trabalhadores started to mediate the case and to support the posseiros, assessing the situation in the villages and reporting the threats. According to documentation by Fiocruz, one of the union’s meetings held with approximately 30 squatters was interrupted by armed patrols of Osvaldo Ribeiro, ending the meeting and expelling everyone from the place. 
The conflict entered the legal sphere in 2010 when Oswaldo Ribeiro entered a process of reintegration of tenure, claiming that his territory would have been invaded whereas posseiros believed it to be public land. The land question intensified when the National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) intervened in November 2011 and declared that part of the land in dispute belonged to the federal government and thus the process was remitted to the Federal Court of the State of Acre in January 2012. Ribeiro refused negotiations when being summoned to a conciliation hearing by the Federal Court of the State of Acre.  Threats against the squatters continued and an (anonymous) entry on the blog ‘Capixaba em Notícias’ even stated in 2013 that the farmer’s son Dilson Ribeiro, along with his armed gunmen, threatened to kill more than 40 posseiros of the Capatará community.  After the process got delayed, in June 2013 people of Capatará protested and camped for two days outside the INCRA headquarter in Rio Branco. On the following day they closed the street in front of the building, demanding a final solution to the land conflict. As the news channel G1 reported, one of their speakers complained about a lack of action after negotiations and meetings with different representatives of INCRA, stating that the posseiros want to see concrete action against the faced discrimination and humiliation through the land owner and his henchmen but reality rather shows an absence of public power. The president of the Associação Seringal Capatará, moreover stressed that the conflict had already been going on for 20 years and that they even fear deaths, as they had already occurred in related conflicts. According to him, the situation has gone worse after failed negotiations with the owner. He also assumes that disagreement about the conflict within the public authorities had so far prevented intervention, as according to him the owner sits down with them while residents are left aside.  INCRA reacted to that by stating that the root causes of the conflict lied in the historically lacking administrative differentiation between public and private land in the region. They claimed that the case was already mediated by the National Agrarian Obudsman and that they were proposing an agreement with the owners of Seringal Capatará to return a third of the land – which could then be used for the agrarian reform program, and that moreover the residents and property situation were to be reassessed in the forthcoming months.   Moreover, an investigation process against the threats attributed to the supposed owner Osvaldo Ribeiro was initiated. That way, INCRA and the residents association reached an agreement and the demonstrations left the headquarter despite remaining skeptical. They stated that they have not fully achieved what they wanted but taken a first step and that they will fight until having their rights. 
The process was prolongated several times in the hope for an extra-judicial agreement between the parties and because some posseiros were confirmed as landowners by an INCRA assessment, ultimately being entitled to stay. The final court record has 1,652 pages and the process ended in May 2016 with a decision in favor of the farmer and to the disadvantage of most of the posseiros, as it the defender of the posseiros, the Agrarian Ombudsman, had missed deadline. The decision instigated the return of an area of 2,000 hectares to Osvaldo Ribeiro and the evacuation of officially 103 families (although apparently more were affected) as they were considered to have moved to the land recently or could not prove a long residency. Only 15 families were recognized as land owners as they were believed to had been living there between eight and 50 years. The community of Capatará reacted to the court decision with blockades of street BR-317, occupying it several times with cars, wheels, tents and and wood which initially led to the postponing of the eviction. In August 2016 the eviction was implemented. Again the street was blocked and occupied in an effort to resist, the media reported about the case and kids protested in front of their school. The military police used rubber bullets and gas bombs after a group of people, claiming to have been provoked by the workers of the rancher, started to revolt. However, despite the court decision in favor of the cattle rancher, no one knew where the area in question began and ended. Thus, while only 2,000 hectares were authorized for eviction, the area de facto evicted seems to have been about 5,000 hectares, involving families that have lived there for more than 25 years, kids that had been born there and a fully functioning school that had been built by the residents themselves and had to be closed. In TV interviews, people declared their desperation of loosing everything and having nowhere else to go or to make a living from. It is reported that up to 261 families became expelled and that the military police knocked down houses with tractors. They did not receive support to find a new home. Three month after the eviction, 150 families invaded the area of the supposed owner in an attempt to return to their land. In fear of tensions between them and the rancher's workers - who were reported to only be waiting for the order 'to open fire' - a special forces unit was sent to intervene and disarm both sides. Still in 2017, the community kept fighting for their rights by speaking to the Legislative Assembly of Acre (ALEAC) and denouncing irregularities in the procedure to the Agrarian Ombudsman. After the complaints were not taken into account, posseiros complained that numerous meetings with INCRA have not resulted in the promised actions, and moreover, the community of Capatará is not heard by the Ombudsman as its role is also to advocate farmers in the region. Long after the court decision, it was still internally disputed within INCRA how much of the land under question belonged to the State.    
Apart from problematizing the land rights situation in the Amazon part of Brazil, this conflict also exemplifies the clash between the old land use practices of rubber tappers and the clearly increasing pressure from agriculture, and in particular, cattle farming. It can be linked to the persisting struggles of rubber tappers against cattle farmers that have been taking place in the region for decades, most notably known through the mobilization of rubber tappers before and after the death of Chico Mendes in 1986 which has inspired today’s environmental justice movements.