Regional Federal Court upholds businessman's conviction for deforestation in Belterra

  Plantation of Romualdo Rech in Santarém, Pará, Brazil, showing area cultivated for soy production (brown) and adjacent area reforested under judicial mandate. Photo by Marcos Colón and Bruno Erlan, ©Beyond Fordlândia, 2017.

Plantation of Romualdo Rech in Santarém, Pará, Brazil, showing area cultivated for soy production (brown) and adjacent area reforested under judicial mandate. Photo by Marcos Colón and Bruno Erlan, ©Beyond Fordlândia, 2017.

The conviction of Celso Pezzini Rech for the deforestation of 124 hectares of forest in an area of Amazônia Legal has been upheld. The Regional Federal Court of the 1st Region (TRF1) took the decision after the accused's appeal against the decision of the Federal Justice in Pará, which had determined recuperation of the deforested area and payment of a R$ 482,784.80 fine for collective material and moral damages to the Fund for the Defence of Diffuse Rights (Fundo de Defesa de Direitos Difusos).

The Federal Justice decision resulted from the request for conviction from the MPF based on the violation notice of the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis), Ibama, which confirmed the degradation of the area at the Jerusalém farm, in Belterra (PA).

The production of Beyond Fordlândia had the a opportunity to talk to the patriarch of the Rech family, Romualdo Rech, in 2017, questioning the deforestation of the Belterra region.