POISON AND MONOCULTURE
The intensification of the invasion in the Olivença region began in the early twentieth century with the arrival of the cocoa colonels. Attracted by the fertile Tupinambá lands, farmers enclousured the territory, turning the indigenous forests and plantations in large monoculture fields of cocoa.
Monoculture is extremely aggressive to nature and culture. The cultivation of only one species makes the plants much more susceptible to plagues that spread quickly, which actually ended up happening with the witches broom plague. And to deal with this problem, the farmers use more and more agro-chemicals, poisoning the land, the water and the plants. Monoculture does not let the earth breathe, where there is only cocoa there is no room for the Tupinambá sustainabilities. Agricultural production made under capitalist logic makes sense only if done on a large scale, based on vast lands in the hands of a few, which impose their way of life and work through a sordid attempt to destroy life. Monoculture subordinates men and imprisons the forest. The indigenous people were uprooted from their land and their culture, as the colonels of cocoa tried to install a monoculture of the land and the mind.
In the ‘retomada’ (retake) process, the Tupinambá Indians found many fields occupied by Cocoa. The fields are often abandoned or taken by the witches broom. The Indians, in this scenario, take care of part of the cocoa, while they open space so that the forest can grow and breathe again, and they can introduce other cultures.
We continue to cultivate the cocoa because it was here, so we do the same, but we do it differently. It is the same because we make the same process, which is the process of preparing the cocoa that everyone does. But it is different from the farmer, because the work is different. The farmer made people slaves and kept the cocoa money all to himself. We work together, in joint effort with daily exchange, or we can pay one or two days for someone. Each family has a small piece.