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Lumber companies threaten extractive communities of Lábrea, Brazil


Located 610 kilometers from Manaus, Labrea is a town with approximately 38,000 inhabitants and is situated in the so-called arc of deforestation (an area with the highest rates of deforestation of Brazil). Its territory is disputed by lumber companies, large soybean producers and ranchers. The municipality is crossed by highway BR-319. Because of this, the Federal Government has supported the creation of two extractive reserves in the municipality, within a mosaic of conservation units of more than nine million hectares, designed to minimize the environmental impacts of the expansion of the highway.

The struggle of communities of Lábrea for the creation and defence of Extractive Reserve (Resex) of middle Purus and Ituxi river (started in 2001) is the main front for the sustainable use of natural resources in the region. About 3,500 extractives were benefited by the establishment of extractive reserves in 2008, but to this day it remains vulnerable to loggers and land grabbers working in the region.

This situation puts the local leaders at great risk, because they are constantly threatened with death due to the defense of their territories. However, despite State and federal programs exist for the protection of human rights defenders, the local leaders are not included in the scheme. They are often in the target list of loggers and gunmen.

In June 2011, for example, the APADRIT Association released a note reporting that unknown people to the community would be exploring locations belonging to the RESEX of the Ituxi River near the Punicici River. Loggers would act primarily on the river Curequete, near the locality known as Cachoeira do Sao Paulo. According to APADRIT, such people would be behind death threats suffered by Antonio Valencia, community leadership of the Ituxi River Extractive Reserve.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Lumber companies threaten extractive communities of Lábrea, Brazil
State or province:Amazonas
Location of conflict:Labrea
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:Deforestation
Logging and non timber extraction
Specific commodities:Timber

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Project area:776000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:2001
Relevant government actors:Instituto Chico Mendes de Biodiversidade - ICMBIO, Instituto Nacional de Meio Ambiente e Recursos Naturais Renovaveis - IBAMA, Ministerio do Meio Ambiente, Policia Federal, Instituto Nacional de Colonizacao e Reforma Agraria - INCRA
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Associacao APADRIT

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
extractive communities
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Soil erosion
Health ImpactsVisible: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession


Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Land demarcation
Strengthening of participation
Violent targeting of activists
Application of existing regulations
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Extractive communities territory is still being affected by illegal logging.

Sources & Materials

Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

SISTEMA DE INFORMACOES AMBIENTAIS. Decreto que cria a Resex Ituxi (05/06/2008).

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

MAPA DE CONFLITOS ENVOLVENDO INJUSTICA AMBIENTAL E SAUDE NO BRASIL. Vitoria de comunidades extrativistas podera limitar alcance do Arco do Desmatamento. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 22 abr. 2013.

Decreto de la Presidencia de Brasil

INSTITUTO SOCIOAMBIENTAL. Manifestacao cobrara reservas extrativistas. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 15 dez. 2008.

Illegal-Logging Loggers threaten Brazil Amazon residents: Amnesty

SOUZA, Miqueias Santos. A reserva extrativista rio Ituxi Pede Socorro. Informes Preservida, 12 jun. 2011. Disponível em: Acesso em: 16 abr. 2013.

FARIAS, Elaize. Camponeses ameacados de morte no Amazonas perderao protecao da Força Nacional. A Critica, 22 dez. 2011. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 16 abr. 2013.

Insight Crime Brazil Activist Flees After Threats From Illegal Loggers

ASSOCIACAO DOS PRODUTORES AGROEXTRATIVISTAS DA ASSEMBLEIA DE DEUS DO RIO ITUXI. Documento das comunidades da Reserva Extrativista rio Ituxi sobre a precaria situacao da saude no rio Ituxi. Labrea, 15 mai. 2012. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 16 abr. 2013.

Meta information

Contributor:Diogo Rocha
Last update18/08/2019