On 9 October 2022 Climate Counsel, Greenpeace (Brazil and International) and Observatório do Clima filed a communication to the ICC Prosecutor alleging that crimes against humanity have been committed in Brazil by a Network of private and public-sector actors. The victims are Rural Land Users and Defenders. The mass crimes, committed over the last decade, have been accompanied by severe, and either widespread or long term damage to the environment.

Paulo Busse, Greenpeace Brasil and Observatório do Clima
Richard J Rogers, Climate Counsel
Suely Araújo, Observatório do Clima


Climate Counsel is a non-profit foundation based in the Hague, Netherlands. We are a team of former United Nations lawyers dedicated to environmental and climate justice. With decades of experience at the UN international criminal tribunals, we use our expertise in war crimes and crimes against humanity to tackle the environmental crisis. We investigate situations involving destruction of the natural environment and harm to dependent communities. We litigate on behalf of affected communities to bring perpetrators to justice. We advocate for a new ‘ecocide’ laws alongside global partners.


Greenpeace Brazil is an environmental organization that exists because the planet and its ecosystems need someone to defend them. We have been in Brazil for 30 years exposing and confronting governments, companies and projects that promote the destruction of the Amazon and threaten the global climate.


Observatório do Clima The Brazilian Climate Observatory (Observatório do Clima, hereby OC) is the leading network of Brazilian civil society entities in the climate sphere, dedicated to building a decarbonized, egalitarian, prosperous, and sustainable country. We do this by monitoring federal policy, producing technical and scientific knowledge, mobilizing stakeholders, and communicating the relevance and urgency of combating the climate crisis. The network was founded in 2002 in São Paulo with 26 organizations. Now in 2022, it has 77 member organizations.


This platform supports the ICC communication, by bringing together disparate forms of evidence, photographs, testimonies from survivors and family members of victims, 3D reconstruction of crime scenes, forensic evidence, visualizations of data collected by Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT) between 2011 and 2021, drone videos, satellite imagery analysis, deforestation and forest fire data on the Amazon. Together they demonstrate crimes against thousands of rural land users and defenders in Brazil have intensified under President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration.

Interspersed throughout the platform and presented as a photo essay are the photojournalist Martin Middlebrook’s photographs from an investigation undertaken in the state of Pará in Brazil for Climate Counsel in November 2021.


Investigative Team

Lead investigators: Nabil Ahmed and Olga Lucko
Lead architectural researcher: Olga Lucko
Architectural researcher: Tiago Patatas
Video editor: Prerna Bishnoi
3D modeling: Eduardo Paranhos and Einar Grinde
Researcher: Raquel Pais

INTERPRT is a research agency that pursues environmental justice through visual and spatial investigations. The team includes architects, academics and spatial designers with over ten years experience in research and advocacy work on conflict and environmental destruction. INTERPRT uses architectural research, 3D reconstructions and publicly available data to produce evidence files for legal cases, advocacy videos and reports. INTERPRT is affiliated with the Norwegian Research Council funded CLIMATE RIGHTS project, led by Nabil Ahmed, INTERPRT’s founding principal and professor of visual intervention at the faculty of architecture and design at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). INTERPRT is a member of Investigative Commons initiated by Forensic Architecture.

Photography, interviews and drone footage: Martin Middlebrook
Field researcher: Marizilda Cruppe
Security Consultant: Sidney da Silva

Martin Middlebrook is a Human Rights and Conservation Photographer. He trained as a wildlife artist, began his photographic career as a wildlife photographer, before becoming an internationally respected photojournalist covering the war in Afghanistan, the refugee crisis, and political change in Europe. He has also directed for T.V. and written over a hundred articles, and several books. As a storyteller, he brings a uniquely passionate mix of skills in articulating complex stories through expressive visual and written narratives. His recent projects include a ten part audio visual piece on Brexit, and a documentary for Franco German broadcaster Arte TV on the history of water in Israel and Palestine to be broadcast late 2022.

Platform text

Editors: Paulo Busse, Richard J Rogers
Translators: Paulo Busse, Lucas e Silva Batista Pilau,Tiago Patatas

Web development

Code Chorus

Project manager: J.Dose



The Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT) is a Christian principled organisation struggling with social justice and human rights in the Brazilian countryside. It offers advice and support to small farmers and landless people, addressing unjust land distribution and violence problems.


The Zé Claudio e Maria Institute was born to help maintain the struggle for justice, the memory of the socioenvironmental martyrs, the support for environmental threatened defenders, the solidarity economy, and the access to environmental education. Its mission is to bring more information about the struggles in defense of ecosystems, to strengthen the defenders protection network, and to keep on reporting the violence that happens in Brazil and in the four corners of the planet, especially with regard to environmental conflicts.


Global Witness goal is a more sustainable, just and equal planet. They work to hold companies and governments to account for their destruction of the environment, their disregard for the planet and their failure to protect human rights. In Brazil, Global Witness has worked to protect environmental defenders and promote their voices while cutting off money flowing into destructive industries.