Letter from the people affected of the state of Bahia
To the People Affected by Dams and people who fight together with us in this dear and immense Brazil.
Publicado 08/01/2022 - Atualizado 10/01/2022
Through this letter, we want to tell you a little about our situation and ask for the support of you who live in other Brazilian states and locations. All of you must be following the difficult situation of the families affected by the high volume of rain and the collapse of dams in the southern and extreme southern regions of the state of Bahia.
Being affected by dams is not easy. We don’t have peace even at Christmas and New Year. We are constant victims of the dam construction policy that destroys our rivers, our forests, and our communities.
Businesses and governments take away and deprive us more than they help us. Our land and homes are flooded, destroyed, and even looted. And when we organize and fight together, we are often persecuted, discriminated against, criminalized and we suffer all kinds of losses. Our rights are denied, compensation, when it occurs, is unfair and aid is always insufficient and late. We know very well that all this violence against us is provoked and carried out by those “from above”. It comes from those who have the money and power.
We learned that in times of greatest difficulty in life, it is best to fight together. A united people will never be defeated. In the 30 years of the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), Struggle and solidarity have always been the way to resist and rebuild a life. And right now, in the state of Bahia, we are seeing our lives being destroyed by floods, flooding, and the collapse of several dams, causing pain and suffering to more than 715,634 people affected.
So far, 154 municipalities in Bahia have been affected, 26 people are dead, 62,731 people were displaced and dozens of isolated locations without access, food, and drinking water, with houses flooded and others destroyed. The losses are large and diverse.
Meanwhile, at the worst moment of the catastrophes, President Bolsonaro was strolling on the beach, enjoying vacations while denying help to the affected, making politics due to this year’s presidential elections, and showing a total lack of empathy for the people and responsibility for the position he occupies. A Government that puts profit above life. Those affected continue to suffer from his complete abandonment, bordering on persecution by the people of Bahia. No representative of his government expressed solidarity or the need for action to assist the state government and people at risk.
We know that you who live in other states understand us because we are all affected. But we are also part of the working class, of those who create the wealth of this immense and rich country of ours. Of those who fight together. And we learned that in times of difficulty, the people who help the most are the ones who understand us.
And finally, we want to ask you for help, support, encouragement, and demand that government representatives do not abandon us. Immediately, your contribution to the solidarity campaign will be of great value so that we can access essential items.
We, with hope and no illusions, will continue our journey in our simple way, organizing and fighting for our rights for as long as it takes. Because our lives matter, our communities matter, and Brazil belong to the workers who build it.
A fraternal hug from those people affected by dams in the state of Bahia.