Traditional communities in different regions all over the country are suffering from business enterprises that are based in or near territories where they have lived for many years. Development projects implemented by companies compete for these territories, impacting on the ways of life of the population and violently imposing on the history, memory and survival of these people.

This involves projects of mining, monoculture planting, hydroelectricity, thermal electricity, gas pipelines and infrastructure works that, in the eyes of the entrepreneurs, are only recognized as sources of profit. They are supported by governmental measures that facilitate and encourage – with even more determination at this time – the development of these projects by companies, and deliberately disregard women, men, animals, healthy food, pure water and clean land.

It affects communities and traditional and collective peoples, who seek to resist these initiatives that are imposed on their homes and daily lives. It is often the women who lead the way in the fight because they are attentive to the preservation of the environment, of their families, and the ways of life reproduction.

We know a little of the history of the environmental crimes of Mariana and Brumadinho (MG), with the rupture of the dams operated by the company Vale. We know a little less about the irregular disposal by the company Hydro, in Barcarena (PA). Throughout Brazil, there are so many other business projects that harshly affect the territories and that are almost exclusively known by those who are experiencing this violence.

In 8M Special: Threatened territories, Women in the fight, produced by Terra de Direitos [Land of Rights] for International Women’s Day, you will learn – from the women’s own account – how they recognize these works, how they have organized themselves to resist these business projects, which development projects they want for their territories, and how to understand the role of resistance that they perform in their communities. The legal advisors of Terra de Direitos, in dialogue with the women from the portrayed communities, also highlight how the works constitute a violation of the rights of these peoples.

You will learn a little about the resistance of the women from the Quilombola Community Invernada Paiol de Telha (PR) against the construction of a small hydroelectric plant (SHP), the quilombola women and traditional fishermen from Santarém (PA) affected by the construction of a port terminal in Lake Maicá, and quilombolas from the Quilombola Communities of Raiz and Vargem do Inhaí, both located in the Serra do Espinhaço (MG), and who are suffering with the monoculture of eucalyptus in their territories.

Long live the resistance! Long live the resistance of women!

This text was originally published in the website of the organization Terra de Direitos, on March 7, 2020.

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