The Tremembé are an indigenous group who inhabit Brazil’s northwest State of Ceará. In the XVI century, they occupied an area that spanned from what is nowadays the State Para to Ceará. However, today, they can only be found in four coastal municipalities of this last State. Despite having lost most of their land rights in the XIX century, in the past decades they have been strengthening their political organization and struggling for territorial recognition against different economic interests in the region. These interests, who mainly come from agribusiness activities – such as coconut plantations and irrigation projects – and tourism infrastructure, put their already small territory under constant pressure. In 2002, the Tremembé of São José and Buriti sites initiated a struggle against the implementation of Cidade Nova Atlântida, a tourist complex with 13 hotels, 5 resorts, 3 golf courses and a marina promoted by the Spanish group Afirma Inmobiliario. For the Tremembé, Cidade Nova Atlântida threatens their claims for land recognition. Since the project’s arrival, they’ve have seen land and sea access gradually restricted. This has limited their economic activities. While the company claimed it bought the land from a family in the 80s, the Tremembé said the property titles were illegal since the ex-owners had took possession of the land without recognising its earlier inhabitants (these people are known in Brazil as posseiros). At the same time, there was a dispute on whether there was indigenous presence in the area or not. On the one hand, the company and several local and regional politicians supporting Nova Atlântida stated there were no Indians. On the other hand, the people opposing the project claimed their inheritance as Tremembé. If ethnic self-recognition as an Indian was synonym with fear and dispossession for decades, it became a symbol of resistance against the project. In 2004, the State Environment Council (COEMA) approved the EIA for Nova Altântida and Ceará’s Environment Superintendence (SEMACE) issued a license. The same day, the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) suspended the license. The MPF ordered a study on indigenous presence in the area included in the EIA. The study found out the EIA had almost completely omitted indigenous presence despite string evidence of historical settlements. Later, the consulting company in charge of the EIA was condemned for fraudulent studies in Ceará. Despite the court order preventing the project’s construction, the project’s promoters – the Afirma group –went on with different activities in the area.