Until this moment, the investigation being conducted by the civil police is not clear, presenting numerous legal gaps in the survey. We hope that the facts are properly cleared up, and that the case is ascertained, respecting the proper legal basis.
Nilce de Souza Magalhães, better known as ’Nicinha’, mother of three, grandmother of seven grandchildren, fisherwoman and militant of MAB, Movement of People Affected by Dams, in Rondonia, fought in defense of life, the river and the forest, she was a riverine by the Madeira River, where she struggled to never leave her living place.
She "disappeared" on January 7, 2016, after being last seen in the canvas tent where she lived with her husband, Nei, in a camp with other families of fishers affected by the hydroelectric dam Jirau, in the place called "Velha Mutum Paraná", at the kilometer 871 of the federal highway BR 364, towards Porto Velho-Rio Branco.
Nicinha was last seen at the camping, by her neighbor, when Nilce was cooking and washing clothes in her shack, around 12 pm on January 7. Some time later, the same neighbor felt a burning smell and went to the shack and the food was burning and the washing machine was still on with the clothes and Nilce was no longer on the site.
Searches by the civil police began only on January 13, until now only a little chain she always wore around her neck has been found on the floor near her tent on the ground and broken by the fire brigade team; which may indicate she have been brought by force out of the place. In addition, personal documents and the camera also disappeared from the residence, which contained materials of denounces.
Nicinha is known in the region by fighting in the Movement of People Affected by Dams in defense of the people affected denouncing human rights violations committed by the consortium responsible for the power plant of Jirau, Sustainable Energy of Brazil (ESRB). She was daughter of rubber tappers who came from the town of Xapuri, in Acre who came to Abunã (Old Porto Velho) in Rondonia, where she lived for nearly fifty years, being in the recent years affected by Jirau.
The fishing activity began to be seriously compromised with the dam, making life extremely difficult for fishers. In 2014 the community has also been affected by a major flood boosted by the hydroelectric reservoir that flooded the houses of riverside families, destroying crops, work materials, among other belongings.
The various damage caused by the hydroelectric plant Nicinha saw no other option than to move to "Mutum Velha ", together with other fishers to try to continue to survive, although the place has no access to clean water or electricity. The location on the edge of the Madeira River and the federal highway BR 364, is where once was the community of Mutum Paraná, which was completely removed due to the filling of the Jirau hydroelectric reservoir and is considered private property and the riverside families are now treated as invaders of their territory.
The consortium responsible for the Jirau hydro-power dam is formed by the companies: GDF Suez-Tractebel with 40%, Mitsui with 20% and Eletrobrás group with 40%, Eletrosul and Chesf via each with 20% of the shares.
Suez-Tractebel is considered one of the most violent company in the world and in Brazil to treat the affected populations and the environment. In 2010 Suez won the award for worst company in the world by the Public Eye Awards for participation in the construction of the Jirau hydroelectric dam on the Madeira River, the largest tributary of the Amazon river. The French government controls 36% of the transnational shares GDF Suez-Tractebel. Public companies of State Eletrobrás group belong to the Brazilian government, as well as the main financier of the work the public bank BNDES.
In addition to the serious impacts caused by the dam in Brazil, it also reaches the Bolivian territory, which has been ignored in studies of environmental impact, and action object in the OAS (Organization of American States). In the Brazilian plan, a number of civil actions, numerous environmental constraints are unfulfilled.
Nilce made several denounces over the years, participating in public hearings and events, including, pointed out the serious impacts to the fishing activity on the Madeira River, as well as the failure of the enterprise license conditions that require the consortium to repair socioeconomic status of the affected fishing families.
The denounces led to two public civil investigations being conducted by federal prosecutors and the District Attorney on non-implementation of the Programme of Support to Fishing activity and other criminal character, because of data manipulation in monitoring fishing activity reports in order not to disclose such impacts.
Also denounced the existence of several areas of forest flooded by the dam’s reservoir, where several species of native trees are dead, including those essential to the extraction such as chestnut trees. Besides the presence of illegally buried woods, which contaminated the water and generated the emission of greenhouse gases.
Nicinha struggle for the right of families affected by the flood in Abunã, she is a known leadership at the region in defending human rights. Even after the negotiating table with the federal government, in December 2015, in which Nicinha attended, which outcome has been a broad government commission to conduct a survey in the region to investigate reports of violations by the company.
The criminalization of social movements is a stain in the history of Brazilian democratic process, many social leaders has been delegitimized and murdered, the state of Rondônia has an extensive history of this kind of practice.
At national and international level we need to solidarize, to seek justice for the realization of human rights.
Without justice, there is no case closed! Water for life, not for death!
En esta edición de Voz Campesina, programa especial de la Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Organizaciones del Campo (CLOC-Vía Campesina) y Radio Mundo Real (Amigos de la Tierra Internacional), recuperamos las movilizaciones del Mes de la Mujer, así como del Encuentro Internacional de las Mujeres que Luchan realizado en Chiapas, México.
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