BRAZIL: Atrocity Crimes in The Amazon

This Digital Evidence Platform provides a visual overview of the evidence presented in the Communication, submitted to the Office of the Prosecutor (‘OTP’) of the International Criminal Court (‘ICC’) on 9 November 2022. The Communication was filed by Climate Counsel in conjunction with Greenpeace Brazil, and Observatório do Clima (the ‘Filing Parties’) on behalf of Rural Land Users and Defenders who are victims of the alleged crimes against humanity. The Filing Parties request the ICC Prosecutor to open an examination to further investigate these crimes. The Communication is supported by Greenpeace International, The Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT), Instituto Zé Claudio e Maria, and Global Witness. Read more

There is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed in Brazil. The Communication demonstrates that, over the last decade, a widespread or systematic attack has been committed against Rural Land Users and Defenders, including crimes of murder, persecution, and other inhumane acts. This attack was committed pursuant to an organizational policy to facilitate the dispossession of land, the exploitation of natural resources, and the destruction of the environment, irrespective of the law.

The organizational policy evolved through the collusion of like-minded actors, motivated by the rapacious and unfettered economic development of Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest. This organized group of actors (the ‘Network’) is comprised of public and private-sector actors from multiple levels of Brazilian society, including politicians, civil servants, law enforcement officers, business people, and a rogues’ gallery of criminal actors. The attack has been enabled by the capture or corruption of civic institutions, and through concerted acts or omissions by the executive and legislative branches of government.

The mass human suffering described throughout this Communication has been accompanied by severe damage to the Amazon Rainforest. The implementation of the Network’s policy has led to severe and either widespread or long-term damage to Brazil’s forest environment. Rather than protecting the natural environment, key members of the Network have encouraged its destruction and facilitated related acts of violence.

The ICC is just one potential avenue for accountability. The evidence contained in the Communication will be used to pursue forms of justice in a range of judicial, legal and diplomatic fora. The case can also help persuade (i) policy makers (in Brazil and abroad) to demand a cessation of the abuses, and (ii) businesses to undertake rigorous human rights and environmental due diligence before operating in the Amazon. Read less


Climate Counsel

Greenpeace Brazil

Observatório Do Clima


The Comissão Pastoral da Terra

Instituto Zé Claudio e Maria

Global Witness

Evidence platform