Rice monocultures and land conflicts with Quilombola communities in the Marajó archipelago, Pará, Brazil

Land grabbing by the Quartiero family to increase rice production theatens Quilombola communities. Also, agrochemicals endanger their health.


The dispute for land between traditional communities and farmers has been part of the Marajó’s archipelago reality for a long time, at the mouth of the River Amazon.  Since the 1990s, the descendants of Afro-Brazilian slaves – known as Quilombolas – have fought for the recognition of their territories, menaced by agribusiness interests who repeatedly invaded public lands. In 2011, the situation worsened with the arrival of rice plantations of the Quartiero family. The Quartieros are rice farmers, infamous for their reiterated use of violence against indigenous groups in the northern state of Roraima. They were expelled from indigenous lands in Roraima by the federal government, moving their activities to Marajó with the support of the State of Pará’s authorities. Both the farmers and the local government plan to turn the archipelago into a rice production district.

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Basic Data
NameRice monocultures and land conflicts with Quilombola communities in the Marajó archipelago, Pará, Brazil
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)Water access rights and entitlements
Land acquisition conflicts
Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Specific CommoditiesWater
Project Details and Actors
Project Details- According to IBGE in 2014 the Marajó Island produced around 2235 tonnes of rice.
Project Area (in hectares)4500
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population22000
Start Date2011
Company Names or State EnterprisesQuartiero family from Brazil
Relevant government actorsFederal and State Public Ministries (MPF and MPE); National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA); Pará’s State Government; Federação de Agricultura e Pecuária do Pará (FAEPA); Conselho do Agronegócio do Pará (Consagro);
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersQuilombolas of Rosario (municipality of Salvaterra) and Gurupá (Cachoeira do Arari); Coordenação das Associações das Comunidades Remanescentes de Quilombo do Pará (MALUNGU); Associação de Remanescentes de Quilombo do Rio Gurupá (ARQUIG)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Social movements
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Air pollution
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition, Other Health impacts
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (undecided)
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Application of existing regulations
Development of Alternatives-Artisanal fisheries and other ancient rural activities.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Despite the fact that both the federal and the state’s public ministries issued court orders to limit the impacts of rice plantations on the communities, the area cultivated keeps growing. The State of Pará keeps actively supporting the creation of a rice district. At the same time, the Quilombos of Gurupá and Rosario are still waiting for land recognition by the federal government.
Sources and Materials

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Arroz no Marajó: a impunidade do agronegócio
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Conflitos territoriais na comunidade quilombola de Gurupá -APA Arquipélago do Marajó/PA
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Expansão do agronegócio e conflitos socioambientais na Amazônia Marajoara / Expansion of agribusiness and socio-environmental conflicts in the Brazilian Amazon (DÉRICK LIMA GOMES • BENEDITO ELY VALENTE DA CRUZ • MIQUÉIAS FREITAS CALVI • CRISTIANO CARDOSO)
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O impacto do plantio de arroz no Marajó
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Arroz no Marajó: MPF e MP recomendam titulação de quilombolas e licenciamento ambiental
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Quartiero foi plantar arroz em Marajó após deixar reserva Raposa Serra do Sol
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Solo fértil e clima favorável beneficiam cultivo de arroz na Ilha de Marajó (PA)
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A rizicultura no Marajó e seus problemas é tema de matéria do jornal Valor Econômico
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Produção de arroz no Marajó ignora problemas fundiários e ambientais
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O impacto do plantio de arroz no Marajó
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Empresario e denunciado por devastar floresta nativa para plantar arroz no PA
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Justiça proíbe lançamento aéreo de agrotóxicos em arrozal no Marajó
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Media Links

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Other Documents

Plantação de arroz: bomba para captação de água interliga leito do Rio Arari à canal artificial. Foto: Tarcísio Feitosa (GTI-MPE/PA)
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Campos de arroz em Carchoeira do Arari, no Marajó. Foto: Tarcísio Feitosa (GTI-MPPE/PA)
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Meta Information
ContributorENVJustice Project
Last update03/06/2018