Resistência Wajuru: Farm of former governor of Rondônia is on an indigenous archaeological site
In the municipality of Alta Floresta D'Oeste, in the district of Porto Rolim, a region of floodplain, which becomes a river island for most of the year, Agência Pública investigated complaints of land irregularities already pointed out by Incra in the process of privatizing an area of 12 thousand hectares of the Mequéns farm, where the family of ex-governor and ex-senator Ivo Cassol raises cattle and has an imposing headquarters with swimming pool and Jacuzzi.
It was in 2005, when Cassol was still governor of Rondônia, that his sons Ivo Junior Cassol, Karine Cassol Raposo and Juliana Mezzomo Cassol acquired the farm in a procedure involving the brother and nephews of Sebastião Ferraz de Camargo, founder of the construction company Camargo Corrêa .
Chief Valda, of the Wajuru indigenous people, explains that the vases where the indigenous people were buried represent a national historical heritage. "They are scattered throughout the village, the farms, in every corner where Indians lived," he says.
Ivo Junior Cassol told the report that he never saw the artifacts and that the vessels mentioned by Iphan in the report were given to one of his sisters. According to him, many of the charges against the family are political. "They go into the minds of these people who have less knowledge and say that the Cassol are going to do such and such a thing, and we do nothing."
Because they are on other sensitive areas of the archaeological site, Iphan embargoed the construction of the Environmental Police post in Porto Rolim and the headquarters of Idaron, the Agropastoril Sanitary Defense Agency, focused on livestock in the state of Rondônia. But despite the embargo, construction carried out during Cassol's mandate.
In September 2019, the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) in Ji-Paraná (RO) entered into a judicial agreement with the municipality of Alta Floresta D'Oeste and the state of Rondônia, requiring the execution of a compensation program for public buildings built on archaeological heritage.
Ivo Cassol has three environmental embargoes for destruction of flora registered with the agency, all in the municipality of Alta Floresta D'Oeste. Environmental fines in his name total R $ 1,300 million. His children have also been convicted in the first instance for the deforestation of about 300 hectares on the Mequéns farm itself, in October 2017. The family appealed against all fines.
Among the embargoes that Ivo Cassol suffered by Ibama is a complaint for the construction of an irregular dirt road within a Permanent Preservation Area in 2008. The road is the almost 200 km dirt road that connects Alta Floresta D 'Oeste to Porto Rolim.
Junior Cassol believes that this fine, which was not paid, was a "political problem". “It wasn't my father who opened the road, it was the state government,” he argues. At the time, the governor was Ivo Cassol, his own father.
Ivo Cassol is known as “Maçaranduba”, a type of wood, nickname for which he was reported by an Odebrecht executive to Lava Jato operation, for corruption in a licensing process early in his political career. Of all the allegations regarding the politician, this is the only one that actually led to punishment: Cassol was sentenced by the Federal Supreme Court (STF) to almost five years in prison, reverted to community services in 2013. Until 2018, however, his mandate had not yet been terminated. He's been ineligible ever since.
Read the full report on the website of the Agência Pública.