“Hydropower plants will not bring development to Tapajós”

The Public Ministry of Pará together with several organizations, including the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) are holding on the May 23rd and 24th in Itaituba the Seminar “Impacts, challenges and perspectives of large projects at the Tapajós Basin”

Yesterday afternoon, MAB's coordinator Iury Paulino alerted to the serious violations of human rights if hydropower plants are build in the region. He participate at the table “Large projects and development model in the Amazon”. According to Paulino, the violations of rights comes together with the energy model adopted in Brazil, as hydropower plants are seen by the international capital as a cheap form to generate power and the rights of people affected are seen as costs which have to be eliminated. “This model of development means for us violation of human rights. Don't think that dams, mining, highways, hydro-ways (the other projects planned or under construction in the region) represent for us development and quality of life”.

For the philosopher Emmanuel Castro, who also participated at the table “we have to disarm this gang which is the concept of development”. The researcher Mauricios Torres from the Federal University of West of Pará mediated the table.

At the opening of the conference, Juarez Saw Munduruku, representing the Munduruku people, criticized the attempt to use the dams as bargain chip to social rights of the indigenous. “Today the government is giving pressure to the Munduruku people to accept the dam to receive in exchange a school in our region. This must not happen. If the government wants to build a school or a health care unit it must do it without the need to build the dam.”

Achievements and threats of backlash

The Munduruku people achieved recently the advance to the land demarcation of the indigenous territory Sawré Muybú, where sites Juarez's community. But, there it's possible that the recent land demarcations of indigenous territories approved before Dilma's putsch will be abrogated by the interim putschist government of Michel Temer.

The group of Munduruku women read a letter written by them to express this big concern: “The ruralists, ally to the government, people that only think in poisoning the rivers, announced that they are willing to re-see all actions taken by the former government. And this includes the process of demarcation of the indigenous territory Sawré Muybú”.

Another concern is the law bill PEC 65/2012 in discussion at the Senate which ends with the environmental licensing. “Brazil is suffering with a process of withdraw of rights and the issue of the enviroment licensing is very serious. If this bill is approved, we will face more difficulties in resisting this projects, said Iury.

Amazonian Arpilleras

During the Seminar, also occurs the exhibition of “Amazonian Arpilleras”, which exhibits the arpilleras made by women organized in MAB to portrays the violation of women rights affected by dams. To know more about the exhibition, click here.


Program of the Seminar:

May 23rd

Place: Parque de exposição Hélio de Mota Gueiros.

Rodovia Transamazônica Km 05

10h – 11h: Opening


Pará state, General Atorney of the Public Ministry of Para, Public Ministry of Para, State's Justice, Human Rights Clinics of the Amazon/UFPA, Catholic Church, City hall of Itaituba, Consortium of the municipalities of Tapajós, Legislative Assembly of the State of Para, OAB Itaituba.

11h – 12h: Opening Conference: Traditional Populations and Large Projects

Speakers: 6º Câmara de Coordenação e Revisão do MPF, Juarez Saw Munduruku, Ageu Lobo Pereira (Comunidade Montanha Mangabal)

14h – 15h: Large Projects and Development Model in the Amazon Grandes

Coordination: Maurício Torres (UFOPA)

Speakers: Iury Charles Paulino (MAB) & Emmanuel Castro (PUC/RJ)

16h:30 – 18h: Social Impacts: perspectives for education, health and other social rights

Coordinator: Andreia Barreto

Speakers: Eliana Machado Schuber (IFPA/Itaituba), Marcelo de Oliveira Lima (Instituto Evandro Chagas) and Marco Antônio Silva Lima (UEPA/UNAMA)

18h – 19h: Debates

May 24th

8:30h – 11h: Social Diversity at Tapajós Basin

Coordinator: Bruna Rocha (UFOPA)

Speakers: Munduruku, Comunidade Montanha and Mangabal, Quilombola, CITA (Conselho Indígena Tapajós Arapiuns), ASFITA (Associação dos Filhos de Itaituba).

11h – 12h: Debates

14h – 17h: Agri-enviromental impacts at Tapajós Basin

Coordinator: Dom Bernardo (Bispo de Óbidos)

Speakers: Pedro Sérgio Vieira Martins (Terra de Direitos), José Heder Benatti (UFPA), Maurício Torres (UFOPA) & Edizângela Alves Barros (MAB)

17h – 18h: Debates

18h15-19h: Impacts, Challenges and Perspectives of Big Projects at the Tapajós Basin

Speaker: Felício Pontes (MPF) e Raimundo Moraes (MPE)


GT 1 – Public administration and projects

Facilitation: Danilo Miranda (Prefeito de Trairão e Vice-Presidente do Consórcio de Municípios do Tapajós) & Jussara Whitaker (Diretora da Faculdade do Tapajós)

Secretaria: UFPA/CIDHA & MPE

GT 2 – Big projects versus small entrepeneurs

Facilitation: Fabricio Schubert (CDL) & José Antônio Lira (SEBRAE Itaituba)

Secretaria: UFPA/CIDHA & MPE

GT 3 – Violence and Urban and rural conflicts

Facilitation: Andreia Barreto (Defensoria Pública) & Elisa Estronioli (MAB)

Secretaria: UFPA/CIDHA & MPE