Veronica Tavares Batista is only 19 years old, but has seen more conflicts over land than most people will ever see in their lifetime. Her home of Brejo de Miguel is a traditional community located on the banks of the Uruçuí Vermelho River in the south of Piauí, a Brazilian state in the northeast of the country. Here, the river flows lazily over earth so rich with clay it turns the waters red, and clusters of palms grow in the wetlands and swamps that it feeds. The residents pick buriti and macaúba, small grenade-shaped fruit that grow clustered high up in the palm trees. They have lived sustainably off their fields of cassava and cattle and the abundance of resources in the Cerrado, the Brazilian savanna, for generations. But as industrial agriculture pushes further northward into the savanna, claiming the land and destroying the resources used by traditional communities, that lifestyle — along with the Cerrado itself — is now at risk of disappearing. “For some time now, we have had many conflicts and many fences have been put in place that prevent cattle from moving, and prevent us from harvesting things like grass,” says Batista in an interview with Mongabay. “In our community they have already cut fence wire, sawed posts, in addition to the theft of the land itself.” The land grabbers she refers to are intimately connected to the rapid northward expansion of the agricultural frontier, which has now landed both figuratively and literally at her family’s…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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