Solidarity with those affected from Laos

By Movement of People Affected by Dams in Latin America (MAR) Another dam “tragedy”. Another death trail in capital’s account. South of Laos, in the province of Attapeu, a dam […]

By Movement of People Affected by Dams in Latin America (MAR)

Another dam “tragedy”. Another death trail in capital’s account. South of Laos, in the province of Attapeu, a dam under construction (Xepian-Xe Nam Noy) broke, releasing about 5 billion cubic meters of water, killing at least 27 people (official number until July 27th ) and leaving hundreds of people missing. The water covered 6 rural communities, and evacuated at least 7,000 people.

According to the official statement announced by the Korean company “SK Engineering & Construction” responsible for the construction of the dam, the rupture was caused by the heavy rains that fell on the region, a frequent excuse used in other cases. But what probably behind is the outright of profit of the companies, and a nefarious energy model at service of international speculators and not of the people.

Foto de atingidos em Laos

In the case of Mariana, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, when in November 2015 a mining tailings dam burst (owned by Samarco/Vale/BHP) and killed 19 people, devastating several communities and the basin of the Doce river there were no alarms to warn the population. Several negligences showed that the tragedy was an announced one, and not due to climatic or technical conditions. The negligence of the companies is the one responsible for the crime. Those companies that never prioritize neither the security nor the rights of the populations that are affected by these mining and energy projects. Until today, and despite three years of intense struggle, there is no justice for the affected families, hostages of a situation of total uncertainty.

Foto Mariana

In Colombia, a similar situation. Hidroituango, the largest hydroelectric dam in the history of the country is currently being constructed – traversed by the death. After several landslides and problems with water containment, the dam is in serious risk of breaking, which would mean the worse disaster in the history of the country. Since the end of the 1990s violence was the path of the capital and the State to impose the project. A region of great massacres perpetrated by the right-wing paramilitary forces to “clean the land”, it is estimated that more than 600 bodies of the disappeared will no longer be exhumed because of the dam. The popular movements, and especially Ríos Vivos, which is part of the Movement of People Affected by Dams in Latin America, had been denouncing since the beginning of the dam project that the geographical situation was very delicate in the region, and that the dam project was unfeasible in that region.

Foto Colombia

The Movement of People Affected by Dams in Latin America (MAR), which organizes affected and affected dams in 14 countries of Latin America are in solidarity with the affected families in Laos. We denounce the negligence of the companies responsible for these crimes against our peoples and we demand serious investigation of what these cases. We fight for justice, reparation and rights for the affected populations, and reaffirm the need to move towards a Popular Energy Project with social justice, sovereignty and popular control.

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