This conflict pits timber traders and landowners against communities carrying out small scale extractive activities. In 2009, the conflict came to a head when people from over 40 indigenous and traditional communities, frustrated after more than a decade of failed negotiations with the state for territorial rights closed the Arapiuns River to logging traffic and sequestered two barges full of timber. The protestors blockaded the river for a month waiting for the state and federal governments to address the problem. At the end they set fire to the 2,000 cubic meters of wood on the barges. The fires blazed on for three days. The Gleba Nova Olinda has a total area of about 87,000 hectares and is located in the municipality of Santarém, Pará state, Brazil. It is composed of state public land with a rich and abundant sociobiodiversity, being occupied by 14 communities (Sao Raimundo do Alto Arua, Sao Francisco, Novo Paraiso, Cachoeira do Arua, Gapo Açu, Sao Luís,Sociedade dos Parentes, Fe em Deus, Vista Alegre, Repartimento, Mariazinha), three of which are indigenous communities (Sao Jose III, Novo Lugar e Cachoeira do Maro) of the Borari people. Located in the area of influence of the BR-163 road, it is characterized by highly dynamic and violent processes due to the rapid formation of land and labor markets.
Thus, violence is used as a mechanism of land appropriation, the absence of the state works as an ordering vector of the process, causing rapid spread of conflicts related to the use and control of natural resources and the intensification of migratory flows.
Alongside the rapid occupation of the rural areas, there is also the growing urbanization of the region, with the growth of the cities of Santarém, Juriti and Itaituba, to where migratory flows are attracted by new economic opportunities (agribusiness, mining and services).
Since the 1990s, the Gleba Nova Olinda has undergone an intense environmental conflict, marked by violence, exclusion and disputes over land, forest resources and even symbolic struggles over the definition of the identity of traditional communities (remarkably among those who claim a Borari indigenous ancestry and those who deny the recognition of this distinction ethnic/cultural).
The expansion of monoculture of soybean is another process that has generated negative impacts on local communities. About 50 farmers, many of them from the southern region of the country, have rural properties in Glebe. These landowners expel villagers from these areas or prevent access to many areas that were previously considered the common property of communities. There are complaints that many properties are located in areas of public lands, acquired illegally with the intermediation of corrupt officials in the State. Many of these farms are located on the traditional territory of the Borari Indians, which creates conflicts with them. An employee of ITERPA was caught by IBAMA inspectors as an intermediary in land grabbing in the region and responsible for a scheme that would have illegally settled at least 120,000 hectares of land to farmers.
This conflict has led to violent actions of both parties, including death threats to community leaders, such as against the indigenous chief Crisomar dos Santos Costa in March 2013, and the destruction of timber companies assets (through pressure on state officials responsible for conducting studies in the region). For this reason, in recent years there have been an intensification of the actions of FUNAI and INCRA agents, and prosecutors interested in mediating the conflict in order to prevent the escalation of violence. The State Government, through ITERPA and IDEFLOR, also has performed actions in the region, as it has an interest in the definition of the limits of each community in order to liberate the land from farmland to grant public forest areas. Such a process would permit exploring these areas by private companies through competitive bidding.