International Day of Struggle against Dams: MAB denounces rights violations and celebrates the progress of affected people in different territories in the country

Movement of People Affected by Dams – MAB held political acts in at least 30 municipalities of the country to mark the date and revindicate policies for security and reparation for the violated rights by huge enterprises along the country

Completing 32 years of existence on this March 14, MAB promoted a series of acts along the country to mark the International Day of Struggle against Dams, besides organizing public hearings, conferences and assemblies in different affected territories in this month. 

During the mobilizations, activists of the Movement denounced the impunity of the companies which control the dams, such as Vale, BHP Billiton, Samarco, and Equinox Gold, responsible for the most massive environmental crimes in the history of the country. The acts also revindicated the creation of public policies and the approval of bills in progress for the protection of the fundamental rights of affected people and reparation for the victims of the crimes committed by companies that control the dams in Brazil, besides the safety of the affected people from the events related to climate change. 

“It brings us great joy to see the great disposition of the affected population in all the Brazilian territory who was mobilized in the accomplishment of over 30 concrete actions, hearings, parades, meetings, and interlocution actions with public authorities to handle the resolution of historic issues of the Movement”, affirms Luiz Alencar Dalla Costa, member of the national coordination of the Movement.

The movement leader also highlighted the international character of the data, emphasizing that there were acts in many countries in America, such as Colombia, Mexico, Chile, among others, besides the mobilizations in other continents, such as Africa. “This demonstrates the strength of a global articulation associated with the struggle for the rights of populations in the energy and mining sectors and, also with the issue of those affected by climate change, a growing concern for MAB”.

Despite reinforcing the historic agendas of the Movement which still need to be dealt with by the public authorities, activists celebrate the advances of the struggles of the organization in different regions of the country. Check some of the achievements announced and celebrated today:

Human Rights Minister announces working group to deal with the relationship between companies and human rights. 

In a seminary organized by different social organizations, including MAB, the head of human rights issues Photo: Ruy Conde

During the seminary “Human Rights and Companies, Brazil at the front”, the minister Sílvio de Almeida announced that the ministry will formulate a regulatory mark for companies aiming to counteract violations of rights practiced against the population.

The event was organized by Oxfam Brasil, Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), and the Workers Unique Central (CUT), among other organizations, in the headquarters of the National Confederation of Rural Family Farmers (Contag), in Brasilia.

In Bahia, the justice condemned CHESF for inundation 

Taking account of the requests of the General State Prosecute´s Office (PGE), judge of the law of Jequié, Luiz Henrique de Almeida Araújo, rendered, in the last Tuesday, 10, a new decision in the public civil action proposed to charge the Hydroelectric Company of São Francisco (CHESF) for the socioenvironmental and economic damages provoked by the outflow of  Pedra`s Dam in the region of its influence. The inundations hit thousands of families who lost their assets, and houses and remained isolated during the months of January and February.

In Minas Gerais, an important court decision brings advances and celerity to the reparation for the affected people of Brumadinho

In a hearing held in today morning, in Belo Horizonte (MG), people affected by Vale´s crime in Brumadinho celebrate the decision of the Justice that accepted a petition requesting to establish a “Settlement of Judgment” to start the process of ascertainment of the individual damages caused by the rupture to the affected people. The meeting was carried out by judge Murilo Silvio de Abreu, representants of the people affected by Vale´s disaster-crime, Institutions of Justice (IJs), Independent Technical Advisories (ATIs), the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), and representant of the Episcopal Region of Nossa Senhora do Rosário (Renser).

The decision means an important advance in the process of reparation for the affected people because it indicates the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) as an expert that will establish which damages were caused, who was affected, and the values of the compensations. Still, according to the decision, the technical advisories will act with the affected people, who will actively participate in the process.

In São Paulo, people affected by floods are received by the Municipal Administration to present revindications

A commission composed by MAB and Popular Movements Central – CMP participated in a meeting with representatives of São Paulo Administration´s Civil Office. During the hearing, it was realized acts of protest in front of the agency. The Administration committed to creating a commission among members of different State Secretariats to solve the problems presented by the activists: house floodings, damages to the collective health and to the populations of the outskirt areas caused by the inundations, such as loss of furniture, damage to property up to the impossibility for the workers to moving freely. 

In Rondônia, IBAMA recommends the denial of the Preliminary License for Tabajara Hydroelectric

 In technical advisories, Ibama decided that “it is not possible to continue the analysis of environmental viability of the enterprise. So, and considering the reiterated refusals of the proponent to present the information requested by Ibama in the previous advisories, it is recommended the denial of the current request for the Preliminary License” affirms the advisory.

In Pará, MPF recommended the suspension of the Preliminary License of the waterway Tocantins – Araguaia

 This week, the Federal Public Ministry (MPF, in the Portuguese acronym) recommended to Ibama the suspension of the preliminary license of a construction in a waterway in Pará until the diverse grave irregularities be solved. The license pointed out by MPF as irregular was given by Ibama to the Transport Infrastructure Nacional Department (Dnit, in the Portuguese acronym) in 2022 for the expansion work of the navigability of the waterway Tocantins – Araguaia in dry periods. The works consist of the removal or destruction of submerged rocks – the so-called overthrow or demolition – of a stretch known as Pedra do Lourenço. Besides the removal of sandbanks along the river course, which would provoke great losses for the biodiversity, as well as preclude economic activities of the local population which is engaged in small-scale fishing.

In the face of the achievements, Dalla Costa evaluates that there is a change in the behavior of the authorities, especially in the federal sphere, which reflects a greater predisposition for hearing and articulating with the social organizations and addressing the basic rights of the population. “This year, we have already got in touch with the governs and also with ministries of Lula´s government, highlighting the Ministry of Human Rights, which committed to deal with the relationship between companies and human rights, which is essential to the protection of the populations affected by dams. This is one of the victories to be celebrated today”, concludes the coordinator.

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