Environmentalists in the Amazon celebrated after authorities shut down a soy distribution plant owned by US agricultural giant Cargill. This legislation marks a major victory for environment supporters who have argued for years that the plant was built illegally and became significant cause of rainforest depletion.
Cargill’s port in the riverside city of Santarem, a deep-water port in the lower Amazon about 850 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean, was built to export Brazilian soy worldwide. But the day it was opened, it was welcomed with widespread protests by environment group Greenpeace, who have termed the setting of the port as ‘Eating Up the Amazon‘, accusing Cargill of being responsible for slave labour, illegal land grabs and deforestation.
The environmentalists believe that the plant encourages further rainforests destruction, in a region that has already lost 20% of its trees to the loggers. Millions of acres of rainforest have been turned over to soy bean fields. Public prosecutors believe that Cargill had failed to submit a comprehensive environmental impact report and announced the immediate suspension of any activity at the port.
The closure comes amid fears that the Brazilian is sponsoring construction of a 1,100-mile roadway leading from Mato Grosso, the country’s top soy-growing state, to the Cargill export terminal. And also, an economic plan has been unveiled that foresees massive investment in the region’s infrastructure, including hydroelectric plants and roads. Someone has rightly said, saving the Amazon is the world’s responsibility, and not just Brazil’s alone.