Affected by the Belo Monte dam marched in Altamira
This morning (24th of August) the people affected by the Belo Monte dam marched through the streets of Altamira, protesting the construction of the dam. With banners like "Belo Monte for what and for whom" and "Power to the people and not for large companies", the protesters left the camp they set up at last Monday and walked toward the city center. The manifestation was organized by the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB).
The manifesters presented their demands to the bank Caixa Econômica Federal, to the state energy distributor and to the construction consortium of the dam, Norte Energia. "We require that these companies and bank guarantee our rights. We will not accept that these companies come here, build their big dam and throw us in a corner," said one demonstrator. Various civil sectors participated in the event, including teachers, students, associations and theater groups. They feel the impacts of the dam in their daily lives.
As a result of the demonstration, a hearing with representatives of the federal government was scheduled for the next day. On Friday, the a representative of the Ministry of Cities, will discuss the issue of housing and urban occupations of Altamira.
The march and the camp aim to denounce the construction of dams in Brazil and in particular Belo Monte, denounce the current Brazilian energy model, dialogue with society and show the public and private resistance from those affected by dams, and press to discuss the agenda of those affected by dams. These acts are part of the National Day of Via Campesina, which organised several demonstrations at national level.
"We will stay camped during the week and held other activities, such as distribute pamphlets in the city" said the coordinators of the camp.
International organisations and social movements are following the mobilizations against Belo Monte and express solidarity with the people affected by dams in Brazil. Mexicans affected by the dam of El Zapotillo, marched for two days against the dam and demonstrated in Guadalajara, the seat of government, also against Belo Monte.