A team of climbers from our ship, the Arctic Sunrise, shut down
Cargill's illegal soy facility in the heart of the Amazon
rainforest. Our activists unfurled a banner on the conveyor belts
at Cargill's facility, but angry Cargill employees nearby blasted
the sign down with high-powered hoses, and the violence against our
activists quickly escalated. Police arrived on the scene and
arrested 16 of our activists, including one of our U.S.
The Arctic Sunrise itself blockaded the Cargill port, preventing
exports of soy from leaving the facility for several hours.
In the nearby city of Santarém, a group of Cargill's supporters
surrounded the police station holding our activists, but were
dispersed by military police.
Police secured the Arctic Sunrise as well, but an angry mob
boarded our ship despite the police presence, and painted graffiti
along the sides. Fireworks were also aimed at our ship and
activists, even hitting an activist in the chest, but fortunately
leaving him unharmed. Meanwhile, police used pepper spray to force
the crew to open the radio room, and took them into custody. The
rest of our activists remained in lockdown within the ship. Cargill
tug boats pushed our ship out of the dock, and dragged it and our
anchor out into the Tapajos river.
The illegal soy Cargill is producing has been linked to a
massive fast food chain, including
KFC's European restaurants. These fast food chains are
literally eating up the Amazon, and we've detailed exactly how in a
Cargill, based in Minneapolis, MN, is the largest soy producer
and exporter in the Amazon, operating 13 silos in the heart of the
Soy is now a leading cause of rainforest destruction in the
Brazilian Amazon. In total, an estimated 12,000 square miles of
what was once rainforest has already been destroyed, mostly
illegally, to grow soybeans. Cargill makes no secret of helping
establish soy farms in the Amazon, some of whom are complicit in
other illegal activities such as land grabbing and slavery.
Corporations like Cargill must stop seeing the Amazon as a place
to expand their soy businesses, and recognize it as the world's
greatest rainforest in need of urgent protection, not
exploitation. We're calling on Cargill, and the fast food industry
they sell to, to ensure that the soy and animal feed they buy and
use does not contribute to the destruction of the Amazon.