boy mendes

Image: Javier Gonzales


Chico-Xapuri-Amazônia: the biospheric tie

The columnist writes from Xapuri, where Chico Mendes Week is celebrated, coordinated by Ângela Mendes, Chico's daughter, and a network of volunteers, who make up the Chico Mendes Committee. Men and women companions of Chico Mendes are present. Indigenous and black representatives testify to the great proximity of the groups that make up the Alliance of Peoples of the Forest. Young people from several Brazilian states attend the meeting.

Recognize that the past matters, and a lot! It is therefore a question of him, who is history.

The poor devils who shot Chico Mendes on December 22, 1988 at the behest of members and sympathizers of the UDR, União Democrática (?) Ruralista, couldn't see a hand in front of their noses. Its constituents saw two spans, and for that reason they could not see the story, because 33 years later Chico lives, the Amazonian rubber tapper pride lives, amplified by the universal reading of the lives of the indigenous peoples and, finally, the Amazon can be the fulcrum of conscience Brazilian society in overcoming turbo-neoliberalism and consequent realization of ecological-socialist time.

It would be a brilliant Brazilian response to the evidence of the Anthropocene, which is revealed within a time that was not understood by homo sapiens and which was revealed in the raw domain of land, water, modes of production, the voracity of profits and the exploitation of the vulnerable. Thus, the Holocene disappears, a time of abundant land, of mild temperatures, of balance between the creatures of the biosphere, a commonplace of humans. For the indigenous world, the Pachamama, aggregator of nature and culture, which these people know is incapable of resisting the horror of domination, brutality and ignorance.

But the past is so important that it becomes present. Deputy Mara Rocha (PSDB) and Senator Marcio Bittar (MDB), both representatives of the Acre people, also only see very close. From a be-a-bá in social communication, collusion the two engender in the National Congress a justification speech from the difficulties of global management of the great reserve Chico Mendes (970.570,00ha, Decree 99.144, 1990) and propose in PL 6024 cuts and bottlenecks in this place of life and dream through a rancid and glossy speech, another “Trojan horse” of the Bolsonarist way of governing. Instead of worrying about inducing welfare policies for the people they represent, they suggest their slow death in the game of fragmenting livelihoods. Such a project could not have been elaborated by sensitive Amazonian hands. Therefore, its existence has the strength of Darly and Darci's shotgun. He must therefore have the same fate as those two unfortunates.

The murderers, the deputy, the senator, the useful innocents, the miners, a certain class of landowners, Bolsonaro and his ministry, the media support and the entire landholding system that deforests, burns and floods the space with methane and other greenhouse gases. greenhouse effect could not, in fact, have the intelligence to understand what the Anthropocene means in the heart of the forests, especially ours, Brazilian, Peruvian, Bolivian. While human actions in general still maintain some objective relation to the devastation of the biosphere, that is, the sapiens make nature yours other, strange, object of desire and dominion, this is not what happens inside the forests. There doesn't exist the other, because the human body realizes and accumulates its culture through the intermediation of its peers, the plant beings, configured in the representation of many beings of memory and experience, as a rule narrated and described from generation to generation and components of ancestral narratives. The forest is full of life, but this totality cannot be fragmented without total loss. For example, putting soybeans and cattle in it as if such cultures were “natural”. Certainly the ground will react after some exploration. The consequences are known.

The human-vegetable-animal memory and its discourses, in the forest, are protective, guardians, mediators of the future. It is one thing, therefore, to throw waste into the streams of cities around the world or deposit industrial carcasses on the side of streets and highways. Another is to cause the deterioration of the igarapé, the only source, or open clearings and run the risk of several invasions. Even pandemic-inducing viruses. The forest reacts like an act of combustion of his entire body, as the culture that operates there also composes the nature of that connection.

While the reified culture of the so-called urban world signals its grief and decline with some delay, in the forest deterioration and death can be synchronic with the vile, unbalanced and disharmonious gesture. As has already been proven in the inexorable decline of many of the world's forests, there are no agreements on the regulatory and regenerative mission of the large forest bodies. They are not divisible, as is also the case with common goods. And they shouldn't be contestable in a country of more than 8 million square kilometers. The proof of nines should be done by skeptics, if they have time for it.

Therefore, tropical and subtropical forests are incompatible with capitalist accelerations (globalization, dismantling of labor rights, extensive methane pollution and above-bearable environmental degeneration), which know no other values ​​than the submission of nature and its rape. Project 6024, run by the duo Mara Rocha and Márcio Bittar, and with support from Centrão, is a complete act of rape at the Chico Mendes Reserve. No memory should be had of him other than his eternal archiving.

Educated by the forest and the people of the forest, “placed” and nomads, but wise in their world, Chico Mendes intuited, apprehended and learned such facts, phenomena and languages ​​of the forest. The realization of Chico Mendes Week acts as a denial of any martyrdom, folklorization or mythification of the image and figure of the leader who wanted to live to witness the conquests of the Alliance of Peoples of the Forest, its greatest proposal, a sign of that dynamic and indivisible totality of the land, the work and abundant life in the forest. Well, the mythification of Chico becomes impossible in the context of the complete inconclusion of the struggles from the 1970s onwards. Not even the myth of freedom could be realized under the pressures of crazy power holders, always ignorant of the global mission of the forest. Even worse is the abandonment of reservations in the name of the chimera, or the impossible dignified life in urban peripheries. As happens with the fate of many mestizo boys in the city, the loss of the profound relationship between forest and man, that is, their forced alienation or as a result of ignorance leads to prisons and the cemetery.

Therefore, in the world of the forest, the myth of interest, which subjugates the other, is worthless. On the contrary, therefore, what accumulates in the history of the weeks of December in Xapuri, according to its oldest participants, is its narrative responsibility before the youngest actors of ancient Hileia. Immediately, chestnut rubber tappers, nations of traditional peoples, quilombolas and workers from contiguous areas share the right to update the awareness of forest users and guardians.

Nothing escapes the radar of these peoples, especially those participating in struggles for common land. If they have already achieved great “draws” under the leadership of Wilson Pinheiro, Chico Mendes and so many people they trust, they know that along with the communicative expansions of networked bodies it goes even further. Obviously, contemporary accommodation is known, which other peoples would call “the warrior's rest”, those who fought because they saw the rights of plant beings and sapiens slipping through their fingers and, 30 years later, opt for relaxation. But that is impossible today, notably in the Bolsonarist national mismanagement, which is marked by destruction without any construction. Here, the symbol of evil, which hastens the dangerous time of the Anthropocene.

According to the personal testimony of Gumercindo, a former partner, in the year of his death Chico wrote a letter. In it, he hoped that the year 2120 would commemorate the centenary of a world socialist revolution and the overcoming of past pains. However, in the letter itself he apologizes and justifies the dream. Textually, he states that he would not see that dream, but that he had taken pleasure in having dreamed it. Finally, 2020 came and went within a society of internationalized capital, far from any ecological justice and touched by political bipolarity. But it strongly signals the end of the available Holocene biosphere. The COP showed, with the support of the IPCC, that by 2030 we will have to have changed all our awareness about our actions on the common ground of the planet, synchronically to a true STICK with the almost irreversible evils. Or will a privileged few travel with Elon Musk and Jeff Besos to a planet of no return, which perhaps has pre-Holocene conditions? Hawking suggested the trip but made no guarantees.

It is clear, then, that solitary empowerment in the vast Amazonian world is of little use, much less the rape of agribusiness with soy, eucalyptus or extensive cattle. Perhaps there, like nowhere else, the set of voices that carry meaning is not only of the human lineage, since nature sings, speaks, declaims, prays, claims and laments in the same place of articulation of the language of men and women. Guimarães Rosa tried to say this in his various texts. Or actually said.

But, to maintain the place of geniuses, it is also necessary to go back to Euclides da Cunha, who knew the Forest, was astonished by it, but sought the rationality of understanding when he worked on the demarcations that defined the territory of Acre as Brazilian. In a previous and partially published text, the columnist reflected: “the reading of the writer's word (Euclid) induces the reading of the meaning world. The cited narratives follow each other, within On the Edge of History, after the long dissertation on the Amazonian land without history, which justifies the northeastern civilization of the place. After them, new political debates on the Peruvian presence, transport, Independence and the Republic. At the end, an evangelical text called Indecipherable Stars. while in The Caucheros a winchester decimates indigenous peoples (who receive nothing more than the adjective “feared” and “interesting” from Euclides), the shots of rubber tappers from the sertanejos exorcise deformed images of themselves, the Judases put in canoes and released by the river at Easter, precisely on Hallelujah Saturday. In the first narrative, the shot of conquest and temporary possession; in the second, the cathartic shots to ensure meaning in monotonous life. In the world of the caucheros, symbolic values ​​are not negotiated, because the only deal leads to deceit, mockery and death; in Judas-Asverus, revenge shows God that the place of oblivion has not yet squandered the last values. In the splendor of elastic gum, the image of ruin; in the sertanejo world of rubber, the signs of the organization that redeems”.

This was still not a draw time, nor for Chico. That organization that redeems created, after December 22, 1988, an acute sensitivity between redemption and ruin. Companions from the redeemed body of the murdered man, many still alive and supported by fierce groups of young people, advanced towards conquests, such as the Extractive Reserves, capable of sheltering the diversity of cultures, but with absolute respect for the land and its management. of Chico was, without a doubt, the complete failure of the powers in the country that should guarantee his life, as well as the revelation of the promiscuity of the municipal, state and federal powers of the same year of the Citizen Constitution, another form of minimum tie occurred in guaranteeing the reserves, which Bolsonaro and Agro harbor horror, since these, despite the tergiversation of Minister Teresa Cristina, assume all the values ​​of the incompatible ruthless neoliberalism, real and effective creator of the bone gnawers in Brazil.

In this time of new eco-environmental movements, with millions of young people on the streets, against whom the weapons of the landowners and their sticks will do little, since the movements are worldwide, it is essential to welcome the redeemed body of Chico Mendes, healthy, fearless, pacifist and perennial. It is also foreseeable that, as part of the advancement of consciousness of the pachamama of Acre, the Alliance of the Peoples of the Forest will propose to the world in a new COP – which is much superior to that of Glasgow – a biospheric tie, that is, that none of the known evils be committed against the places where we live, coexist, produce and manage until our air is delicately breathable, children are dignified in their growth and formation, violence against people's material and immaterial heritage ceases, the good life is guaranteed of those who have already worked hard and, finally, of all people. A utopia that prefers the path of concrete things. Nothing is more concrete than a great draw. The Forest Peoples Alliance, which speaks from the world's core of the ecological question, has the authority to propose this tie. At that time, certainly many other alliances (which are the endless and indeterminable circle) will enter the ring of change. In the ciranda, hands are not let go. Everyone needs everyone.

Nothing to see is to believe. Yes, doing seeing and being.

* Luiz Roberto Alves is a senior professor at the School of Communications and Arts at USP.


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