Research for dams on the Tapajós is continued after breach of agreement

Studies would only be continued after Prior Consultation with the indigenous people, which did not happen.

The Group of Studies Tapajós, is constituted by Eletronorte, Eletrobrás, GDF Suez, CEMIG and other five companies responsible for research on the technical and environmental viability of the hydroelectric projects on the Tapajós river, east of Pará. They retook on Monday (12) campaigns involving about 200 people, including biologists, field assistants and logistical support work groups which will work between the cities of Itaituba and Jacareacanga.

The studies were stopped since June 23 result of the organized resistance against the large enterprises at the region, including the action of the Munduruku who retained three biologists accused of breaking into the indigenous territory to collect samples. They were brought to the city Jacareacanga and released after advisor of the president of the National Indigenous Foundation (FUNAI), Lucia Alberg, announced the shut-down of studies stating that they would only be retaken after the Prior Consultation according to the International Labour Organization (ILO) Resolution 169.

The Movement of the People Affected by Dams (MAB) denounces that breach of agreement have taken place in public.

Even that the companies affirm that there will be no incursion into the indigenous areas, it is known that the area is threatened by the dams of São Luiz do Tapajós and Jatobá which is inside the region of hunting, fishing and of other materials of the indigenous. We defend that before any process of research the International Labour Organization (ILO) Resolution 169 bust be respected and propagated. By this all can be informed about the real impacts of this enterprises; how will be the future of the habitants of that regions and what are their fundamental rights at this process, in which one of their fundamental right is the right to say NO to the constructions.

We repudiate the presence of the National Force of Public Security at the region. They are present under the excuse they are protecting the workers of the companies. But the National Force are provoking an atmosphere of intimidation with low flights and mobility of troops in strategic areas of Jacareacanga. We need public debate about the future of the region and not militarization with resources of the people which is guaranteeing the profits of large companies.

We demand that that not only the indigenous are heard on prior consultation, but also all threatened river-side communities, small farmers, fishermen and the entire population that historically survive of the waters of the Tapajos. As well as the urban population of Itaituba, Trairao and Jacareacanga, which will suffer major social and environmental impacts and whose population is completely uninformed about this whole process.

We reaffirm solidarity to the struggle of the Munduruku. It is necessary to reunite the forces of the countryside and of the city provoking the debate and popular mobilization around the project of development which takes now place in this region and which is not meant to attend the people. We need to strengthen this alliance building an alternative for development which preserves nature and respects human rights, guaranteeing the sovereignty of the peoples in the Amazon.

Photo: CIMI