Brokers Are STILL Selling Stolen Indigenous Land on Facebook TWO WEEKS After the BBC denounced this crime! However, Facebook takes down photos of traditional indigenous people that “violate Community Standards” within HOURS of being posted!

Illegally burning indigenous forest in the Amazon in order to sell the land for grazing cattle and farmland

I consider the photo above to be obscene and unconscionable…

“The white people claim these land drawings have a price and this is why they trade them for money…their leaders constantly tell themselves ‘We are powerful! We will possess the entire forest. Let its inhabitants die!” – Yanomami spokesman and shaman Davi Kopenawa from Roraima, Brazil, The Falling Sky   

Yanomami woman and her children going to the river
Barbara Crane Navarro

Facebook considers that the photo above “violates our Community Standards for nudity or sexual activity” and took it down a couple of HOURS after I posted it, announcing that “Your account is restricted for 24 hours.” I requested that the photo be re-examined and my post was restored the next day…

According the the BBC investigation, by João Fellet and Charlotte Pamment: “Facebook claims trying to deduce which sales are illegal would be too complex a task for it to carry out itself, and should be left to the local judiciary and other authorities. And it does not appear to see the issue as being serious enough to warrant halting all Marketplace land sales across the Amazon.”

Facebook Marketplace and the Amazon rainforest: GETTY IMAGES/BBC

Facebook clearly takes its “Community Standards for nudity” far more seriously by responding immediately while what appears to be facilitating land theft is considered less of an issue…

A Facebook ad for an Amazon property still online. The property, located on public land, covers 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres), of which 6,000 hectares (14,800 acres) have been cleared and sown with grass. It is located 90 kilometers (66 miles) from Altamira in Pará state. The asking price is R$60,000,000 (US$10,500,000), although the seller says he will accept offers. The ad admits that the seller doesn’t have title to the land. – Image reproduced from the Internet – Mongabay
Two of the ads still up on Facebook Marketplace

Facebook rainforest ads: Inquiry ordered into Amazon land sales By Joao Fellet & Charlotte Pamment 

Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court has ordered an inquiry into the sale of protected areas of the Amazon rainforest via Facebook. It follows a BBC investigation, which revealed plots as large as 1,000 football pitches listed among the platform’s Marketplace classified ads. The court is asking the government to “take the appropriate civil and criminal measures”.

Facebook has said it is “ready to work with local authorities”. But the tech firm has indicated it will not take independent action of its own to halt the trade.

The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world and a vital carbon store that slows down the pace of global warming. It is home to about three million species of plants and animals, and one million indigenous people.

Still online Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Luís Roberto Barroso has asked the country’s attorney general and Ministry of Justice to investigate the BBC’s findings. He was already overseeing a lawsuit brought to the Supreme Federal Court by an NGO – the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil – and six political parties. The plaintiffs have accused the government of failing to do enough to prevent the coronavirus from affecting indigenous communities. The judge took the decision to extend the case to include the Facebook ads. And he drew particular attention to the Uru Eu Wau Wau community. The BBC’s documentary reported that land inside a reserve used by the indigenous group had been listed for sale for the equivalent of about £16,400 in local currency.

No papers The BBC has flagged up some of the ads involved to Facebook, but the social media giant has failed to remove them. The listings include areas inside indigenous territories and national forests, which have protected status. Some feature satellite images and GPS co-ordinates. Many of the sellers admit to not being able to prove legal ownership. To find them, users need only type the Portuguese for terms such as “forest”, “native jungle” and “timber” into Facebook Marketplace’s search tool, and pick an Amazonian municipality as the desired location. The BBC arranged meetings between four sellers on Facebook and an undercover operative posing as a lawyer, who claimed to represent wealthy investors. The sellers caught on hidden camera were illegally selling and clearing rainforest so it could be used as cattle pasture and farmland.

‘Stolen land’ The illegal ads show a lack of respect to indigenous people, argue community leaders The head of the Brazilian Senate’s Environment Commission, Senator Jaques Wagner, has described the land deals as “criminal”. He said his panel of lawmakers would write to Facebook demanding it “review its policy so that this practice is curbed”.

Facebook has previously indicated it believes the task of trying to deduce which sales are illegal is too complex for it to carry out itself. But one congressman mocked this explanation. “What is the difference between selling stolen land with violence against indigenous rights on Facebook and selling narcotics through the platform?” asked Nilto Tatto, a member of the lower house’s environment commission. “Can Facebook then be used to sell narcotics? As a parliamentarian, I will ask this question.”

International pressure Brazil’s government has faced international criticism for failing to curb deforestation, which is at a 12-year high. Conservationists have accused the country’s President Jair Bolsonaro of encouraging loggers and farmers to clear parts of the rainforest. And some of the sellers captured on hidden camera by the BBC said they viewed him as an ally.

The BBC approached Brazil’s Minister of the Environment Ricardo Salles with the findings of its investigation. He said: “President Jair Bolsonaro’s government has always made it clear that his is a zero-tolerance government for any crime, including environmental ones.”

A UN Environment Programme spokesperson told the BBC: “Illegal deforestation undermines international treaties and commitments, including the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity.”

Deforestation within Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has been on the rise since 2008: GETTY IMAGES

Original article here:

Read more about the BBC’s investigation here.

Watch Our World: Selling the Amazon on BBC iPlayer here.

Additional blogs:

About Barbara Crane Navarro - Rainforest Art Project

I'm a French artist living near Paris. From 1968 to 1973 I studied at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, then at the San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco, California, for my BFA. My work for many decades has been informed and inspired by time spent with indigenous communities. Various study trips devoted to the exploration of techniques and natural pigments took me originally to the Dogon of Mali, West Africa, and subsequently to Yanomami communities in Venezuela and Brazil. Over many years, during the winters, I studied the techniques of traditional Bogolan painting. Hand woven fabric is dyed with boiled bark from the Wolo tree or crushed leaves from other trees, then painted with mud from the Niger river which oxidizes in contact with the dye. Through the Dogon and the Yanomami, my interest in the multiplicity of techniques and supports for aesthetic expression influenced my artistic practice. The voyages to the Amazon Rainforest have informed several series of paintings created while living among the Yanomami. The support used is roughly woven canvas prepared with acrylic medium then textured with a mixture of sand from the river bank and lava. This supple canvas is then rolled and transported on expeditions into the forest. They are then painted using a mixture of acrylic colors and Achiote and Genipap, the vegetal pigments used by the Yanomami for their ritual body paintings and on practical and shamanic implements. My concern for the ongoing devastation of the Amazon Rainforest has inspired my films and installation projects. Since 2005, I've created a perfomance and film project - Fire Sculpture - to bring urgent attention to Rainforest issues. To protest against the continuing destruction, I've publicly set fire to my totemic sculptures. These burning sculptures symbolize the degradation of nature and the annihilation of indigenous cultures that depend on the forest for their survival.
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7 Responses to Brokers Are STILL Selling Stolen Indigenous Land on Facebook TWO WEEKS After the BBC denounced this crime! However, Facebook takes down photos of traditional indigenous people that “violate Community Standards” within HOURS of being posted!

  1. mizlatea says:

    Ms. Navarro, you have been a champion of the Yanomami people and their territories for a long time now. Thank you for bringing this to the public’s attention. I will forward your link to Facebook’s executives and see what they can do. In the meantime, anyone who buys land with no title is incredibly foolish!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Brokers Are STILL Selling Stolen Indigenous Land on Facebook TWO WEEKS After the BBC denounced this crime! However, Facebook takes down photos of traditional indigenous people that « violate Community Standards » within HOURS of being posted! — Barb

  3. denise421win says:

    I wonder if technology is causing the world to be more corrupt

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Facebook plans to (finally!) act on illegal sales of Amazon rainforest! This outrageous and abusive practice has been going on for months! | Barbara Crane Navarro

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