Aracruz Celulose Supporters Deliver Petition in Brasília
Sao Paulo, Brazil, 22 November 2006 -- A petition by supporters of Aracruz Celulose, contesting demands by indigenous peoples in the State of Espirito Santo for an increase in the size of their reservation at the company's expense, was delivered to government authorities in Brasilia on 21 November. The petition, which was handed over by representatives of three state labor unions, calls for legal assurances guaranteeing Aracruz Celulose's constitutional rights and insists that the government take a firm stand on the matter.
The petition, in 10 bound volumes, contains 78,511 signatures from individuals, 363 signatures representing companies, and 18 representing professional associations.
Copies were delivered to the Ministry of Justice by Davi Gomes, president of the Wood Extraction Workers Labor Union (Sintiema); Osmar da Costa, president of the Pulp and Chemical Industry Workers Union of the State of Espírito Santo (Sinticel); and Simão Bassul Neto, director of the Metallurgical and Electric Materials Workers Union of the State of Espírito Santo (Sindifer).
Some 3000 members of the newly-formed Aracruz Celulose Support Movement demonstrated on 10 November in Vitória, the state capital, delivering copies of the petition to the governor of the state, the Legislative Assembly, and the State Superior Court. The main purpose of the supporters was to protest against violent acts such as the cutting down of trees and the setting of fires in Aracruz's forests and the blocking of access roads to its mill, as well as to demand protection for the company's workers and collaborators.
Besides Sindiema, Sindifer, and Sindicel, the Movement is supported by the Espírito Santo Transportation Federation (Fetransportes), the Civil Construction Industry Union (Sindicon), and the Association of Service Supply Companies in the Extreme South of Bahia.