An Amazon tribe has finally won a decades-long court battle against the illegal loggers.
The Ashaninka indigenous group has been fighting against illegal logging in their area in Brazil for 20 years. Subsequently, they received a settlement of $3 million and a public statement of apology.
According to local reports, the settlement happened April 1, 2020. The timber companies and their legal team admitted their wrongdoing and “for all the ills caused”. In addition, they also recognized the huge importance of the Ashaninka people. They now consider them as guardians of the forest, passionate in the preservation of the environment. The $3 million will be put to projects and programs. It aims to protect the people and the Amazon forest.
A representative of the tribe said that the resources come to improve the existing actions for improvement in their land and people. Moreover, it will strengthen them to continue protecting and maintaining their ways of life.
The authorities found the companies guilty in illegally cutting down thousands of trees in the tribe’s land. Apparently, the harvested trees were delivered for supply to the furniture industry.
Turning point for the community
Augusto Aras is Brazil’s Attorney General. He said that they simply complied to the constitution of their country. That is to say that the domestic people are covered by the Constitution.
“You have the right to have a decent life, materially speaking, to choose your own destiny,” he said. “To take part in political decisions, with respect to isolated communities.”
The Attorney General believes that the won case will become the turning point for lawsuits of environmental and indigenous community.
Likewise, Antonio Rodrigo, Ashnaninka’s attorney, also shares the same sentiment. “The case will define hundreds of thousands of cases on massive environmental crimes in Brazil,” he said.