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Over five years of joint work by organizations and movements from 12 countries of Latin America concluded last Friday 23rd with the creation of the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAR) of Latin America, in Chapecó, Santa Catarina State, Brazil.
The 18 organizations member of the new movement (see below), together with 11 allied movements from Brazil met at the Universidade Federal da Fronteira Sul. “For years we´ve been taking notice of the looting we´ve been subjected to with the building of hydroelectric mega projects. This is why we think it is necessary to work together towards the same goals and with the same strategies for the transformation of the realities imposed by the capitalist system based on looting”, said Juan Pablo Soler, member of the Movimientos Ríos Vivos of Colombia in an interview with Real World Radio. Soler was present at the launching event of the MAR.
About the goals of MAR, highlighting that this is the result of the consolidation of regional and national movements, Juan Pablo said that “this is the time to call for a consolidated articulation of movements based on projects of life, on plans to stay in the territories, the good living of communities, which can serve as a reference to build the plans we are building and dreaming in other communities”.
Building of a popular energy model
Understanding that hydroelectric mega projects respond to the interests of a few, the Colombian activist explained that one of the challenges of this continental articulation is the “development of a popular energy model that can meet the needs of this new alternative society under construction in different corners of Latin America”.
As criteria for the building of this model, Juan Pablo highlights: “the community management and appropriation of water and energy, efficiency criteria that move away from wastage, where energy is understood for life, not for profit”. “Water and energy are common goods that are part of our worldview as movements for the defense of our lives, territories, water and energy in Latin America”, he said.
The organizations member of the MAR are: Movimiento Ríos Vivos (Colombia), Movimiento dos Atingidos por Barragens (Brazil), Patagonia sin Represas (Chile), Movimiento Amplio por la dignidad y la justicia (Honduras), Red de Educadores y Educadoras Populares/CMLK (Cuba), Frente Petenero contra las Represas (Guatemala), Consejo de Pueblos Mayas (Guatemala), Bloque Campesino Indígena Amazónico de Bolivia, Asociación de pescadores 16 de julio de Cachuela (Bolivia), FUNPROCOOP (El Salvador), Frente Nacional Agrario (El Salvador), Movimiento Popular Patria Grande (Argentina), Rondas Campesinas (Peru), Otros Mundos Chiapas (Mexico), Bios Iguana (Mexico), Asamblea Veracruzana de Iniciativas y Defensa Ambiental (Mexico), Consejo de Pueblos Unidos para la defensa del rio Verde (Mexico), Red Nacional en Defensa del Agua (Panama).
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