The activities of the MAB during the International Day of Action against Dams, for Rivers, Water and Life, and the preparation of the National Gathering

During the month of March, the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) organised several activities to mark the International Day of Struggle against Dams, for Rivers, Water and Life […]

During the month of March, the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) organised several activities to mark the International Day of Struggle against Dams, for Rivers, Water and Life celebrated on March 14. The actions claimed the creation of a set of National Rights for People Affected by Dams, strengthened the struggle for a different energy model and advancing joint actions between field workers and citizens.

That date was set in 1997, when Brazil hosted the 1st International Meeting of People Affected by Dams, and since then populations affected worldwide denounce the energy model that historically has caused serious social, economic, cultural and environmental damages.

MAB also prepared its National Gathering that will be held in São Paulo, between the 3rd and 7th of June 2013 under the motto “Water and energy sovereignty, wealth distribution and popular control“, with an expected participation of four thousand militants throughout Brazil.

Have a look at the actions we organised:

Southern Region:

In southern Brazil, the activities were held in four locations. In Porto Maua, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, the activity brought together around 500 people affected by the hydroelectric complex Garabi and Panambi during a public event that discussed the National Policy on Rights of People Affected by Dams. Later, the activists blocked the international port between Brazil and Argentina, where they protested the lack of information by the companies responsible for the implementation of the dams. The action against the hydroelectric complex also happened in Posadas, Misiones Province of Argentina.

About 200 people affected by the dam of Foz do Chapecó, hold an assembly at the entrance access to the turbines of the dam in the town of Alpestre, also in Rio Grande do Sul The objective of the activity was to charge the agencies responsible for implementation of hydropower energy a solution for problems related with the construction of the dam. Moreover, the activists debate the current energy model that benefits only the companies that own the dams. “The populations affected by the dam and the coastal communities only receive problems, as is the case here in Foz do Chapecó” said a farmer.

In Itapiranga, Santa Catarina, about 400 people attended the meeting of those affected and threatened by the dam project Itapiranga to discuss with the society and governmental agencies the project. The national policy of the rights of people affected was also the subject of debate. “We celebrate more than 30 years of resistance and struggle against the dam, we have organised innumerous actions to cancel the project” said a leader.

In the state of Paraná, the dam affected people gathered in the city of Chopinzinho for the 1st State Meeting of People Affected by Dams. They hold a public protest act about the dam of Salto Santiago, in Saudade Iguaçu. This dam was built in the 1970s by Eletrosul, privatised by President Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s administration, and transferred to the company SUEZ. The populations affected by the dam accused SUEZ of not respecting their rights and even threaten them with the withdrawal of a further 100 meters of their properties around the lake.

Northeast Region:

In Paraíba, dozens of militants of MAB held a meeting with families affected by the dam Acauã and works of water diversion. The objective was to denounce the violation of human rights and advance the agenda of vindicatory, charging the federal and state governments their rights until now denied, as confirmed by the Council of Defence of Human Rights (CDDPH) linked to the presidency.

Two actions went on in Bahia. On March 13, about a thousand people affected by the barrage of Sobradinho occupied the highway BA 210 that connects the city of Paulo Afonso to Sento Sé The demonstrators claimed the social responsibility of the companies CODEVASF and CHESF and the Brazilian state. A key demand is the right to have access to water. In the town of Santa Maria da Vitoria, hundreds of families attended a public hearing to discuss the situation of the dam projects in the west region of the state.

Center West Region:

Three major assemblies of people affected by dams in the cities of Minaçu, Uruaçu and Niquelândia attracted over 1,500 participants on the 14th of March. These municipalities are affected by dams Cana Brava, owned by the Suez-Tractebel and Serra da Mesa (the state Furnas). They discussed the list of claims, discussed the National Policy on Rights of Affected People and prepared participation in the National Gathering of the MAB.

Northern Region:

On March 14, those affected by the Belo Monte dam demanded the government and the company Norte Energia, owner of Belo Monte, conditions to remain in their homes in the flooded areas of the city of Altamira. About 20,000 people live in blockhouses and suffer during the rainy season with the increasing water level. During this period, many families end up abandoning their homes and camping at the city park.

In the state of Pará, dozens of people attended the Seminar on Tapajós Dams: “Development for what and for whom?” held on 11 and 12 March in the city of Itaituba. Among the participants were residents of threatened communities, representatives of fishermen, the women’s movement of rural workers, regional trade unions, the Pastoral Land Commission, the Ministry of Youth, and members of the indigenous people Munduruku. They discussed the false promises that will result from the project of the construction of five dams on the Tapajós and Jamanxim rivers, which could flood an area of ??land bigger than the city of São Paulo.

In Porto Velho, capital of Rondonia, the State Meeting took place with the participation of tens of coordinators of grassroots groups in the regions affected by the dams of Santo Antonio and Jirau on the Madeira River, and Samuel on the Jamari river. Also representatives of social movements and organizations of Via Campesina, the Workers’ and Peasants Platform for Energy attended the meeting.

Southeast Region:

In Minas Gerais, the activities took place in three regions of the state. In the Zona da Mata, in Ouro Preto, MAB, along with the steelworkers’ trade union and other social movements, held a protest outside the aluminum company Novelis. About 300 people attend the event.

In Aimoré participants attended a Public Hearing and marched to the town hall to discuss the human rights violations with the construction of hydroelectric Aimorés. Hundreds of affected families mobilized to ask collectively the company’s response to the demands of health, education, transport and sanitation.

In the North of the state of Minas Gerais were organised meetings to discuss the hydroelectric and mining projects and the issue of water supply to households suffering from the severe drought that hit the region.

In São Paulo state, dozens of people from different regions participate in the State Meeting. On day 14, they attended the seminar “Energy Policy for the State of São Paulo: emphasis on reducing tariffs and quality of energy services” which was held in the Legislative Assembly of the state of São Paulo. Several deputies and representatives of the organizations of the Workers’ and Peasants Platform for Energy participated.

In all the activities MAB’s National Gathering was launched. The families are excited and organising themselves in working groups to participate.


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| Publicado 21/12/2023 por Coletivo de Comunicação MAB PI

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