Members of the Curvelandia community in Brazil’s north-eastern Maranhao state used branches and palm fronds at the beginning of this year to create a barricade across the red dirt road that runs through their village.

They wanted Latin America’s largest eucalyptus pulp producer, Suzano, to pave and manage the dirt road and reduce the number of trucks using it to get to nearby eucalyptus plantations. They also want the Brazilian company to deal with environmental and land issues resulting from the construction of the road, which community member Sandro Lucio said was built on Curvelandia land, including his property.

“There was no agreement. They didn’t pay anyone anything,” he said, adding that they just turned up with heavy machinery. “They removed the fence from my land, and the truck ran over and killed my horse. They also installed water systems without saying they had permission from the state to draw water from the springs.”

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