Brazilian agribusiness joins environmentalists

to support measures against land grabbing in the Amazon

More than 60% of Amazonian forests in Brazil are on public land. But they are not protected from those who want to destroy it.

More than 60% of the forests in the Amazon are located on public land. Lands that, therefore, belong to all of us, Brazilians, and that today are the target of criminal organizations interested in stealing the nation’s natural heritage.
The actions of land grabbers are responsible for a significant part of deforestation in the Amazon, generating an environment of violence and corruption in the region that not only destroys Brazil’s natural wealth but also intimidates rural entrepreneurs and producers who would like to invest in legal alternatives. The situation is so urgent that representatives of the private sector, agribusiness and environmentalists decided to unite to demand a response from the government. The Be Legal with the Amazon campaign is the result of this joint effort by those who see the action of the State and Justice as our greatest chance against the theft and destruction of Brazil’s natural heritage.

But in the last few years, Brazilians have already shown that they: “that they will not accept that the crime in their country goes unpunished. And now, they need your help to ask the: “ask the Brazilian” government for concrete and imeditable measures to fight against the criminals that are stealing and destroying Amazon lands.

By filling out the form on the right, you will be sending an email directly to the Minister of Justice, Flávio Dino, the Attorney General, Augusto Aras, and the governors of the nine states that compose the Legal Amazon, demanding the prioritization of actions that prevent the theft of public lands and that, in fact, promote the land allocation of the 70 million hectares of unprotected public forests in the region. Participate!

Require new crime-fighting measures in the Amazon

Who are you going to press (11 targets)

Augusto Aras
Attorney General of the Republic
Flávio Dino
Minister of Justice
Governors of the Legal Amazon:



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    The document, prepared by organizations that support the campaign, provides the main information about land grabbing in the Amazon, its causes and consequences, and our proposals to combat this crime.


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    Land grabbing is one of the main causes of deforestation in the Amazon

    Criminal groups invade public lands, steal wood, burn and simulate cattle raising to try to forge possession documents. In 2018, about 40% of deforestation occurred in public forests (protected areas, indigenous lands, non-destined public forests).

    It brings violence and crime to the region

    Organized crime that works by deforesting the Amazon acts violently, corruptly and often with the support of some politicians or state agents co-opted through bribery. There are disputes between land grabbers, farmers and historic occupants, which in many cases causes an armed dispute over the territory.

    It does not generate development or economic benefits

    The money that comes from land grabbing and illegal deforestation is concentrated in the hands of a few, as a result of criminal activity. More than 20% of the Amazon has already been destroyed and this has not generated wealth for most of the region’s people. In 2017 the ten cities with largest rates of deforestation in the Amazon region were also among the poorest in Brazil.

    It removes legal investments and harms the producers

    Agribusiness is being hampered by illegal gangs that tarnish the industry’s reputation, increasing legal uncertainty and generating unfair competition for producers and companies. The presence of criminals in the Amazon drives away businessmen, investors and producers complying with the law.
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    The area that will be targeted for criminal action is chosen: An area normally located on non-designated public land is selected for criminal action. Conservation units and indigenous lands (which are designated public lands) may also be targets of these groups.

    Deforestation and Burning: Groups are hired to clear the chosen land by replacing the forest with pasture. Burning is common at this stage. The idea is to simulate a private property dedicated to livestock. The cost of this process can reach 240 thousands of dollars for an area of one thousand hectares.

    Corruption and forged property titles: When the invaded area has been completely devastated, the gang seeks to forge titles to speculate the land. This action is only possible through the payment of bribes and corruption in notary’s offices and other government agencies.

    Increased Violence and Crime: It is common for different interest groups to dispute these lands raising the rates of crime and violence in nearby cities and settlements. In case of invasion of indigenous lands the conflict is imminent.

    Sale of Public Land and Millionaire Gains: With fake title deeds, huge areas that actually belong to Brazilians are exploited and sold for millions of dollars in a large corruption scheme that benefits a small group to the detriment of every nation’s interests.

    Amnesty: It is common that from time to time the National Congress and the states of the Amazon region edit or modify their legislation to legalize those who invaded public lands. This type of practice creates new incentives for land grabbing, and generates billions of losses to public coffers.

    Result: Environmental conservation areas, indigenous lands, or undeveloped lands that house the Amazon Rainforest are stolen and sold by organized crime, contributing to the destruction of our natural heritage.


    1. That the prosecutors of the Federal Public Ministry who work in the Legal Amazon have more structure and support to act against land grabbing;
    2. That the country’s current conservation units and indigenous lands be maintained. And that non-designated federal public forests are designated as areas of sustainable use or conservation;
    3. That the governors of the Legal Amazon take measures to repress encroachments on State Forests, reinforce the inspection carried out by the police and state environmental agencies. And also that the governors promote the designation for purposes of conservation and sustainable use of public land under their command and that are not yet destined.



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