Coalition publicizes third phase of the Agri is Fire Dossier “Brazil in Flames: political power in the wake of the fires”

On 13 October, the third phase of the AGRI IS FIRE DOSSIER was launched. The event was held, in person, in the Margarida Alves Auditorium at the offices of the National Confederation of Agricultural Workers (Confederação Nacional dos Trabalhadores na Agricultura: CONTAG) in Brasilia and broadcast via the Agri is Fire Coalition’s YouTube channel and Facebook page, and the Facebook pages of the Pastoral Land Commission (Comissão Pastoral da Terra: CPT) and CESE.  In 7 cases and 5 articles, the new phase discusses the links between criminal fires and members of a political project that is also part of the legislative and is involved in secret budgets, the signing off of draft bills, environmental budget cuts and even omissions by governments in the face of agrarian conflicts in Brazil.

To emphasize the intrinsic relationship between the fires and the conflicts, the DOSSIER, based on a systematization undertaken by the CPT’s Dom Tomás Balduíno Documentation Centre (Centro de Documentação Dom Tomás Balduíno: CEDOC), states that in 2021, 142 conflicts involving criminal fires occurred in 132 communities, affecting 37,596 families across the country. Some communities were attacked more than once, exemplifying how lighting fires is a recurring act of terror used as a direct weapon.  In 2021, the states of Mato Grosso do Sul (26 incidents), Mato Grosso (22), Bahia (14) and Rondônia (10) experienced 50.7% of the conflicts involving fire.

The AGRI IS FIRE Coalition brings together approximately 30 movements and organizations, including CESE and the social pastoral bodies that, for decades, have worked in the defence of the Amazon, Cerrado and Pantanal, their peoples and communities.  It emerged as a coalition in response to the forest fires that have ravaged Brazil in recent years.  From the infamous Day of Fire in 2019, to the fires that devastated the Pantanal in 2020, we remain shocked by a federal government that lies about the causes of and its own responsibility for these incidents.