José Sobreiro Filho

Biography

José Sobreiro Filho is a doctor of Geography from São Paulo State University (UNESP). His masters research focused on socio-territorial movements in Pontal do Paranapanema in Brazil. During his PhD research he developed a comparative analysis of peasant socio-territorial movements in Brazil and Argentina and occupied a visiting research position at the University of Leeds (UK). José is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Geography Department of the Federal University of Pará (UFPA). He currently helps direct graduate programming in the Department of Geography at UFPA with a focus on territorial dynamics in the Amazon. He also partners with the TerritoriAL graduate program at UNESP, which directly networks with Via Campesina. Since receiving his doctorate, José has focused on research in Socio-Territorial and Social Movements, Peasant Studies, Violence, Conflictuality and the Agrarian Question, with a particular emphasis on the Amazon and Brazil. His research focus is based on a deep and strong engagement with social movements in Brazil, Argentina and, especially, the Amazon. At UFPA he partners with social movement activists and serves as the thesis advisor for many movement leaders and organizers who enroll as undergraduate and graduate students from regional Amazonian communities.

Abstract

STRUGGLING AND DYING FOR TERRITORY IN WESTERN AMAZON: A CASE STUDY OF PARÁ STATE ABOUT AGRARIAN QUESTION, VIOLENCE, AND SOCIO-TERRITORIAL MOVEMENTS

The Amazon rainforest is suffering deep impacts due to the expansion of the agricultural frontier in Brazil. Under the auspices of a nostalgic discourse of “demographic vacuums” and capitalist development, old actors (landowners, deed-falsifiers, illegal wood industry etc.) coalesce around agribusiness, large-scale infrastructure projects, and mines to institute a scenario of violence and environmental degradation. Along many frontiers, the creation of private property through deed-falsification and violence is transformed into a significant territorial question. Life is a dimension of territory that for different rural, riverine, and Indigenous, as well as for capitalists – especially those that carry out necropolitics as a strategy for murdering peasant and traditional peoples who stand in the way of accumulation. While the Amazon represent the major portion of Brazilian territory, data from the Land Pastoral Commission (CPT) allow us to identify the occurrence of 1,815 murders in Brazilian rural areas th at occurred between 1985 and 2019. The Amazon region concentrate 1,202 murders, or 62% of the national murders. Faced with this situation, our research has sought to systematize and analyze journalistic content, interviews with leaders, and fieldwork. These data have demonstrated the specificity of murders and massacres involving gunmen, landlords, private sectors and the military police. In doing so, we seek to describe the agrarian scenario of the eastern Amazon using data from the DATALUTA, CPT, INCRA and IBGE.

 

Affiliation: Federal University of Pará, Brazil