Adai’s Technical Office for Affected People hereby expresses its solidarity and support for quilombola Antônio Sapezeiro and the quilombola people of the Nova Vista community, which belongs to the Sapê do Norte territory and has historically fought for its right to life, to remain in the territory and to land.

Antônio is part of and coordinates a group of 80 families who are reclaiming quilombola land in Nova Vista, in the municipality of São Mateus, in the north of Espírito Santo. Last night, November 28, he was cowardly beaten and taken to prison by the Military Police, who have been acting truculently at the site, together with the Suzano company.

We are disgusted, pained and saddened by the events concerning the traditional peoples and communities affected by the Fundão dam in the state of Espírito Santo. The Quilombola people of Sapê do Norte are victims of a succession of rights violations and are fighting against the colonialist project that has been invading their territories for decades to produce eucalyptus, alcohol, oil, rock salt and other projects.

Once again, the Quilombola people have been denied the right to reclaim their land and, at the same time, the state has colluded in acts of violence and oppression to stifle a historic and just struggle. The stance of the Suzano company and the state, through the police, deepens the vulnerability of these communities and demonstrates the racism embedded in public and private institutions.

Adai, the organization responsible for providing technical advice to and for the people affected by the collapse of the Fundão dam in 2015 in the territories of the state of Espírito Santo, expresses its support for this historic struggle and denounces the truculent actions of the police in the quilombola community of Nova Vista, which culminated in the illegal arrest of a local community leader. This is a case that exemplifies institutional and environmental racism in the state of Espírito Santo and in our country, which must be combated by all of us.