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The member of the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) Joceli Andrioli made an overview of the current situation of the movement during the MAB’s national meeting that is taking place in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Nearly 3,000 Brazilian delegates are participating in the meeting
Andrioli said that amid the intensification of the global crisis of capitalism and the advance of transnational hydroelectric projects in Latin America, the people affected by dams aim to strengthen their coordination to defend community rights. The intensification of the resistance is announced in Brazil as projects continue to expand.
He spoke on behalf of the movement at a panel that analyzed the situation of hydroelectric projects and energy public policies related to territories and community rights in Brazil, Latin America and the world.
Igor Fuser, Dimas Venegas of El Salvador and Ricardo Gebrim of Consulta Popular also participated in the panel. Andrioli mentioned a series of challenges his organization faces, including affirming the importance of the MAB’s struggle as a movement of people affected by dams, even though eleven years ago the movement presented its demands to the government and the government acknowledged the human rights violations of the affected.
“The lack of a policy to protect the rights of the people affected by dams in Brazil is shameful. We will not let the government turn a blind eye”, said Andrioli.
He said the MAB wants to strengthen the street demonstrations through a policy of alliances that includes energy workers of the main Brazilian cities. He said the role of social movements is to pressure the governments, even those they helped to reach the government, such as the case of Brazil, so that they are closer to the working class.
One of the plans for the future of the movement is to reclaim the people affected by dams as defenders of nature. “We are not painting our demands green”, he said. Resistance to the privatization of rivers and basins is part of the struggle for nature rights.
Another aspect MAB mentions as a challenge is to denounce and confront the drivers of the increasing cost of living for workers, especially the price of energy and to have a broad discussion about what kind of industry Brazil needs, as well as the countries from the continent, so that industrial growth is not based on the profit of transnational corporations and overexploitation of natural goods and workers, without benefiting the populations.
The MAB also aims to reinforce certain principles, such as internationalism that has led them to coordinate with networks like the Network of People Affected by Dams (REDLAR), which will hold its 5th meeting in Guatemala, or the Movement Rios Vivos of Colombia.
When he talked about the goals of MAB, Andrioli said there are many people affected by dams in Brazil which the movement has not reached yet and MAB’s goal is to build a common plan of energy sovereignty and popular management
Photo: MAB / Joka Madruga
A two-and-a-half year process of work which resulted in a meeting with several thousand Brazilian peasants; “a process that didn´t start now, and that won´t end here”, said Itelvina Massioli, national leader of the peoples´ struggle for land, agrarian reform and food sovereignty, in interview with Real World Radio after the 6th Congress of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST).
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