His activity of disclosure and denunciation in the social networks of environmental crimes by pollution of the river Tagus has earned Arlindo Marques a legal action filed in by the company CELTEJO - Empresa de Celulose do Tejo, SA, belonging to the ALTRI Group, for offenses to its credibility and good name, claiming the payment of an indemnity of 250 thousand euros.
In many of the situations reported and denounced there are strong suspicions that pollution in the Tagus river comes from Celtejo or from associated paper industries since this company was signaled by the Portuguese Environment Agency as a "significant contributor to pollution in the upper section of the Tajo ".
The attribution of responsibilities to this pulp industry linked to the eucalyptus row for pollution of the Tagus river was made publicly by numerous people, in particular by several public figures (politicians, deputies and mayors), and it is regrettable that Arlindo Marques has been targetted, a simple citizen without means to face this giant of the industry, and that have not been filed lawsuits against other public figures.
This type of action brought against Arlindo Marques by Celtejo is internationally known as a "Strategic Public Lawsuit Against Public Participation" (SLAPP) and has already been used against other environmental activists such as Greenpeace itself, is an act of intimidation that tries to condition the constitutional right that all citizens have to freely express their opinion and the constitutional duty that all citizens have to defend the environment, according to Article 66 of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic.
Speaking on 22 December 2017 to Radio Portalegre, Arlindo Marquês, who is an active member of the proTejo movement, said he highlighted the "pollution of the Tagus as an act of citizenship." (2). The prison guard turned environmentalist, known locally as 'the Guardian of the Tejo,' hit back at the company, accusing Celtejo’s management of "psychological terrorism" and of trying to silence him with its defamation case. Despite feeling persecuted, Arlindo Marquês said he is not afraid and that he will continue to denounce pollution in the river Tagus, arguing that Celtejo should be compensating those families who had their livelihood linked to the river Tejo which the compoany pollutes. According to proTEJO, the origin of the pollution that killed millions of fish in the Vila Velha de Rodão area is from three companies, Celtejo being the worst offender.
In November 2017, Marquês said, "We all know that the culprit is the pulp mill, everyone already knows this," referring to the emissions of effluents by Celtejo - Empresa de Celulose do Tejo, S.A., which produces Bleached Eucalyptus Kraft Pulp (BEKP) for paper production. The SLAPP 90-page indictment contains images from social media and copies of news items and interviews that Celtejo considers defamatory. Celtejo states that its "economic activity is guided by criteria of sustainability and environmental preservation, as well as by strict quality certification." (2)
Portugal’s animals and nature party, PAN, already has filed a complaint with the Public Prosecutor's Office for Celtejo’s pollution in the Tejo after several councils complained that the situation was utterly appalling.For PAN, the activity of Celtejo and other factories that are polluting the river, should be suspended as they are committing environmental crimes every time they flush. PAN also has accused the Ministry of the Environment of "indifference" to the situation." We are facing a serious environmental crime that is leading to the ruin of the Tagus River," said André Silva.(2)