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The Movement of People Affected by Dams of Latin America (MAR) is calling to participate in a mobilization this March 14, International day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water and Life. In some countries, the actions started on Monday. For instance, in Brazil, approximately 300 people occupied the headquarters of the Minas Gerais Electricity Company, organized by the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB).
MAR invites people to march together "in defense of the rights of communities affected by dams, for the defense of rivers, for the building of a peoples´ energy model and for the strengthening and building of alternative societies to commemorate the 21st International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water and Life", according to their statement. The text was signed by movements of people affected by dams of Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, Cuba, Guatemala, Bolivia, El Salvador, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Chile and Panama. It makes reference to companies in charge of building the dams, the governments and companies around the world that continue to take over rivers and destroying lifestyles related to basins, in addition to displacing millions of communities under the pretext of development and clean energy.
The occupation of the Minas Gerais Electricity Company aims to exert pressure on the state government for it to hear the demands of the people who are suffering with the building of these large hydroelectric power plants, states the MAB in its website. There are several dams that are currently affecting people. One of them is UHE, a state power plant launched in 2006, which, according to those affected, has caused water pollution and the extinction of fish species, even compromising fishing activities.
The MAB denounces that Brazil "is experiencing the attacks of transnational corporations that want to take over natural and energy resources", and highlights that the energy issue "is one of the main reasons behind the coup of 2016". The movement warned that in the past days it was announced that the price of electricity would increase by 11 per cent for Brazilian families, while a 20 per cent cut of a tax charged to hydroelectric companies is expected to be implemented. "This cut, together with the rising prices of electricity for people, implies the economic growth of hydroelectric companies, most of them of multinational origin", stated the MAB. On the other side, it will cause a reduction of State revenue. These issues, among others, will be addressed at the seminar "Energy and rights: current situation and perspectives".
Amigos de la Tierra Internacional (ATI) ya tiene una delegación en Ginebra, Suiza, para dar muestras a una nueva sesión regular del Consejo de Derechos Humanos de Naciones Unidas (ONU), que va del 6 al 23 de junio, del respaldo popular a las negociaciones del tratado vinculante sobre transnacionales y derechos humanos, que se negocia en ese marco multilateral.
Esta edición de nuestro programa semanal abre con la flamante coordinadora general del COPINH, Berta Zúñiga Cáceres, con quien profundizamos en las luchas de ese movimiento indígena, el caso legal por el asesinato de su madre, Berta, y las principales preocupaciones.
La presión en el marco de Naciones Unidas (ONU) a favor de los principios rectores sobre empresas y derechos humanos es muy grande, reconoció la presidenta de Amigos de la Tierra Internacional (ATI), Karin Nansen. Pero esos principios no funcionan en los hechos y nunca lo harán, aseguró, por su carácter voluntario, que no obliga a las corporaciones a respetarlos.
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