PERMANENT PEOPLES’ TRIBUNAL
SESSION IN DEFENSE OF THE CERRADO TERRITORIES
Statement by the PPT panel of judges
December 10, 2021
2:00-3:00 pm, Brasilia time – 6:00-7:00 pm CET
You can follow the proceedings in Portuguese on the youtube channel of the Campaign in Defense of the Cerrado
On the occasion of World Human Rights Day, the PPT panel of judges for the Session in Defense of the Territories of Cerrado will release the statement on the first thematic hearing on water, which took place on November, 30th and December, 1st 2021 (it is possible to watch the recordings by clicking on the two dates).
Six cases considered as emblematic of a trend of expropriation and exploitation were presented during the hearing on water. This trend has its roots in the policies promoted since the time of the Brazilian dictatorship which, in recent years, have accelerated the process of environmental, territorial, and social reconfiguration of Cerrado. The six cases highlighted the link between the appropriation of resources and “water injustice”, in support of the crimes reported in the indictment. They concern the traditional territories of Fecho de Pasto, the indigenous peoples of Krahô-Takaywrá and Krahô Kanela, the communities of the North of Minas Gerais, the communities of Cachoeira do Choro and Macaúba and the traditional territories of Geraizeiro do Vale das Cancelas, affected by activities of soybean and mining companies.
The Session of the Tribunal in Defense of the Territories of Cerradodevelops from the indictment presented by the Campaign in Defense of the Cerrado, which indicates the Brazilian State, foreign States, international organizations, and transnational companies as responsible for the ecocide and cultural genocide of the peoples of Cerrado. The Session will be divided into three thematic hearings: on water, which already took place, on food sovereignty and socio-biodiversity (15-16/03/2022), and on land and territory (07-08-09/06/2022). During the PPT session, 15 cases will be presented involving territories, peasant communities and indigenous peoples of the States of Bahía, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Piauí and Tocantins (access the case map). The collection of evidence and documentation is the result of an extensive listening and analysis process that has involved the communities and organizations that make up the Campaign.
The PPT panel of judges is composed of: Antoni Pigrau Solé, professor of international law at the Rovira i Virgili University of Tarragona, Spain; Deborah Duprat, jurist and former Deputy Attorney General of the Republic of Brazil; Mons. José Valdeci of the Diocese of Brejo, Brazil; Eliane Brum, Brazilian journalist; Enrique Leff, Mexican economist, and environmental sociologist; Rosa Acevedo Marín, Venezuelan sociologist and lecturer at the Federal University of Pará; Silvia Ribeiro, Uruguayan journalist, and researcher of the ETC Group; Sônia Guajajara, indigenous leader and executive coordinator of APIB (Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil); Teresa Almeida Cravo, Portuguese professor of international relations at the University of Coimbra. Also on the panel of judges is Philippe Texier, French jurist and current president of the PPT.
The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) is an international opinion tribunal that is competent to judge any type of crime committed causing injury to peoples and minorities. It was established in Bologna in 1979 thanks to the intuition of jurist and politician Lelio Basso, on the basis of the framework defined in the Universal Declaration of the Rights of People (1976). Established as a direct continuation of the Russel Tribunals on Vietnam (1966-67) and Latin America (1973-76), it was then transformed into a permanent institution, able to give a voice and visibility to those people facing a lack of their rights, and impunity. The Tribunal is built around a network of 70 internationally recognized experts and actors, who are then appointed for the PPT panel of judges for each session. Through its 48 sessions and judgments, the Tribunal has given visibility to several cases of serious human rights violations, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide. It has recently expanded the scope of its competence to include economic, ecological, and systemic crimes.
The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal is based in Rome, at the Fondazione Lelio e Lisli Basso, Via della Dogana Vecchia 5.