When they challenged the company, the Saramaka were told that the company had permission from the government and any attempt to interfere with its operations would be punished by imprisonment.
A Chinese company calling itself Jin Lin Wood Industries also surfaced in the area in 2000.
There are 61 Saramaka villages located along the Upper Suriname River alone.
Ownership of Saramaka territory is divided among a number of matrilineal clans or lö.
Members of the clans have rights to hunt, fish, farm and gather forest produce in the area owned by their clan, but ownership remains vested collectively in the clan.
This company uses the timber to make wooden floor boards for shipping containers.In this landmark decision, which establishes a precedent for all Maroon and indigenous peoples in the Americas, the Saramaka were granted collective rights to the lands on which their ancestors had lived since the early 18th century, including rights to decide about the exploitation of natural resources such as timber and gold within that territory.In addition, they were granted compensation from the government for damages caused by previous timber grants made to Chinese companies.In addition to failing to legally recognize the land and resource rights of the Saramaka, Suriname has actively violated those rights by issuing numerous logging and mining concessions in Saramaka territory.The Saramaka first became aware that part of their territory had been granted to a logging company when the employees of a Chinese company calling itself NV Tacoba arrived in the area in 1997.The Saramaka people are mostly Fon/Gbe and Kikongo speaking people as well as some Akan-speaking people (Fantes).