In Pará, MAB Occupies Tucuruí Dam

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Around 600 families-members of the Movement of Dam Affected People and Via Campesina, occupied today, 23 of May at 15:30 hours the Tucuruí Dam in Pará. The occupation is part of the national day of disobedience against the current economic policies, the neoliberal model and in defence of national sovereignty.

Police fired rubber bullets against the demonstrators and injured several. An activist named Aildo had to receive urgent medical treatment and was taken to the closest hospital. After the confrontation the protesters finally managed to enter the dam’s building and at the moment occupy three rooms of the control centre.

The protesters restated the demands of the energy campaign such as the 100 KWh free of charge for low income families and development projects for the communities affected by the dam such as energy supply, roads’ pavementation, education etc.

The Tucuruí Dam was constructed on Rio Tocantins during the military dictatorship. The project expelled more than 32,000 people from their lands and until today many of them have not received any type of compensation. According to press reports of the time, chemicals were thrown over the forest in order to force the exit of the population. Twenty thousand people ended up at the margins of the dam’s reservoir and on the small islands which were formed when it finally filled up in 1984.

Other acts like this one are taking place all around Brazil. In the State of Goias for instance, around 1000 dam affected people have blocked the highway linking the State Capital of Pará, Belem to the Federal District, Brasília.

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