Observatório Social special issue - The Steel of Devastation
In this special issue of the journal Social Observatory are presented the results of an important new finding about the steel sector in the North, results arriving seven years after the historic Slave steel research. In 2004 we showed how the production of charcoal for the pig iron industry was sustained by an archaic structure and that it violated the fundamental rights of workers. At the time, major steel mills installed in steel pole of Marabá, in Maranhão and Pará, have been identified as funders of charcoal kilns that used slave laborers in coal production.
In February 2011, Social Observatory released a Special Edition on the same subject, The Forest Up In Smoke, showed how the criminal groups that warm charcoal from deforestation and slave labor operate. They are gangs formed by politicians, businessmen and public servants of the Government of Pará, who teamed up to devastating, in the name of self-interest, one of the most important ecosystems of the planet.
In these seven years that separate the first research of current data, much has changed for the better. The letter commitment letter for the end of slave labor in the production of charcoal and the creation of the Citizen Coal Institute, which monitors the production chain, improved working conditions in the brutally charcoal kilns registered by the companies, but the problem was not resolved.
The results presented in this issue show charcoal kilns that operate within the law are being used as a front to hide the illegal production, which deforest the Amazon and keep workers in conditions analogous to slavery: workers without register, without safety equipment, without accommodation, without fundamental rights and even without access to drinking water. The research also shows the ineffectiveness of the Government of Pará to face the criminal scheme that works in the basements of the Ministry of Environment. It is a problem that transcends managements and doesn't discriminate parties or political groups.