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Company diverts Xingu without knowing the size of the dam lake

An official of CART, the company responsible for measuring the lake’s dam of Belo Monte, leaked the information that the work has to completed by the end of this year. This confirms that North Energy, the constructer of the dam, initiated the project, including the beginning of the Xingu river diversion, without knowing where to dig the water reservoirs.

The work will take place in the Assurini region, the largest rural community of the state of Para, with 6,000 families or nearly 30,000 people. The community is an INCRA settlement with a predominance of family farms, whose main activities are cattle ranching and farming cocoa.

By the year 2010, according to the Secretary of Agriculture of Altamira, Assurini was responsible for 60% of the food production in the municipality. It is located on the right bank of the river in the bend in front of the Volta Grande do Xingu where the dam is being built.

“This ‘blind’ licensing, allowing to surround the river and then scale the affected area and the environmental and social damage, leaving the affected population totally confused and insecure, not knowing whether or not they will been affected by the dam lake. Especially in the case of Belo Monte, which is a very large and complex project “says Claret Fernandes, member of the MAB in Altamira.

Claret remembers that this reversal in the logic of the environmental licensing “like constructing a house starting with the roof” has been common. The Jirau dam on the Madeira River, for example, was constructed 9 km away off the area approved by IBAMA.

Road that could affect upon 400 families

Givaldo Prado Pereira, 50, resident of the community San Rafael, said that less than one month ago he heard on the radio that North Energy would build a road in the community Assurini from the ferry to the region of Mangueria, a distance of 50 km wide 50 meters, affecting approximately 400 families of settlers or 2,000 people.

The road will give a second access to the construction site. According to Givaldo from that day a great number of workers and cars are entering properties, making measurement and registrating families. “Today [January 31] is my birthday and I’ll stay home waiting for the man of the registration” said.

He sums up his story, which expresses the sentiment of many residents: “When I came here in 1994, there was no road, the area was cut through with a machete. INCRA started settling families in 1997. We plant a lot of rice. I put four bags [60 kg] on my back and each child put one and we walked 9 km. The suffering was great. But I’m happy with the conquest of this land to raise my five children.” He concludes: “An official asked me the value of my lot. I replied that I do not have land to sell. I wanted to live and die here, leaving the land for my children. But now I’ll have to leave, not knowing when or where. “

Edvaldo Caja de Oliveira, 39, a missionary in the area of ??Assurini, was emphatic: “We have right to education and health care, as part of public policies. The dam is a hindrance. Organization is the main way. Otherwise, in ten or twenty years, we will realize the damage, and will not have a way back.”