Antonio e Zinho dos Santos
Aracruz/ES, 1936 and during the 1950s
Father and son
Interview granted in 2021
Antônio dos Santos was born on April 4, 1936, in Aldeia Pau Brasil, Aracruz/ES. His son, Zinho, was born in the 1950s, in the same region. Antônio was the chief of the Tupiniquim people, and both have been fighting since 1966, in the Morada do Sahy region, against the shipbuilding, metallurgical, pulp and farming industries, for the environmental preservation of the territory and the recognition of the demarcation of the land.
In the sixties, some settlers began to create land there, then we got a little bit stronger, we got better. Ferro e Aço exiting caused a weakening, because there was little forest, they devastated almost 80% of the forest, they destroyed it, leaving very little forest, Ferro e Aço was over. Look, the project was already coming to Aracruz, together with the eucalyptus plantation. In 1964 the military regime began, the lands were still ours, vacant lands from the State, the Union.
In 1966, a year and a little later, the company came to deforest the land – the rest of the forest, there was still a lot of forest – and they began to threaten us. Before it arrived, they had already brought a land buyer named Colonel Ageu – well, look, only military officers – and a Captain Orlando, who was from Sobreiro, expelled the people from the place. In the lands that Ferro e Aço deforested, many settlers remained, there they acquired land assets, many were from the states of Minas Gerais and Bahia who came here, others from Espírito Santo.
Many of them did not want to leave anymore, because they produced coal, and they raised a family, they began to have a piece of land, and they took their lands, they kicked out the guys and set fire to their houses, they carried out a great invasion. And in those ruins, there is no more forest, and what happened? This thing that choked the forest, there is no more forest and the land was devastated and the forest for work no longer exists.