Brazil: Justiça Global, MAB & families honour women human rights defenders for their defence of people affected by dams and mining

Brazil Nicinha MAB_credit_MAB_http://www.mabnacional.org.br/sites/default/files/foto%20nicinha%2034.jpg

On 21 December 2016, members of the Movement of People Affected by Dams (Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens, MAB), relatives of Nilce Souza Magalhães, Nicinha, and others met at the Santo Antonio Chapel, by the Madeira River, in Rondônia, to celebrate the life and memory of Nicinha. It was also a political protest to denounce her killing in the beginning of this year for fighting against the socio-environmental impacts of dams in the region. In addition, they also protested against the other 17 people killed in the state of Rondonia, in the Amazon Region, for fighting for land rights.

On 12 December, Justiça Global, a well known Brazilian human rights organization held an event to honour women human rights defenders across Brazil. This is the 3rd edition of the award. This year,  Ludma and India, who used to fight together with Nicinha, were among the honoured women. Djanira Krenak, a leadership from the Krenak people, was also honoured for her fight resisting the impacts of the Fundão dam burst in Minas Gerais that belongs to Samarco, a joint venture of Vale and BHP Biliton - to know more about the impacts to the Krenak people, click here. To know more about the lawsuits related to the case, as well as companies' statements click here.

According to MAB, there are current two civil investigations being carried out by the Federal and State Public Prosecution offices and also a criminal one - see more below.

To read this story in Portuguese, click here.

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Article
22 December 2016

Brazil: Justiça Global honours Ludma and India, from MAB, for their fight defending people affected by dams in the Amazon region

Author: Movement of People Affected by Dams/Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens-MAB (Brazil)

“Ludma and India, MAB militants of Rondônia, are honored in Rio de Janeiro- Due to their fight for defending families affected by the Santo Antônio and Jirau Hydroelectric Dams, Ludma and India are now under death threats.”, 16 de dezembro de 2016

...[T]he model of energy production through the construction of large hydroelectric dams will leave behind a whole range of destruction for the local population...[An]...emblematic case that became known nationally was the fight of the communities located by the Madeira River in...Rondônia against the violence of the companies, which took away their territory for the construction of...hydroelectric dams...Santo Antônio and Jirau...Lurdilane Gomes da Silva,...known as Ludma, and Iza Cristina Bello, nicknamed India, both militants of the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), stood out for their resistance...[D]ue to their fearless confrontation against economic and political interests in order to win reparations of rights, both militants received recognition awards from Global Justice (Justiça Global) on December 12...[T]he...two hydroelectric dams became known for their disrespectful treatment to workers,...more than 2,000 charges to be processed by the Ministry of Labor...[T]he National Rapporteur for the Human Right to the Environment found that there was a[n]...increase in the rates of violence..., including rape, which increased by 208%...The two militants formed the Defense Commission of the Occupation. In partnership with the Public Ministry of the State of Rondônia, local politicians and MAB, the Commission fought against the controlling consortia of the hydroelectric dams in defense of the rights of the affected families. For this defense, both women are now under threat and being persecuted...The threats were followed by...the disappearance of...Nicinha,...fighting peer to Ludma and India, forming the MAB leadership. Her body was found six months later...That crime remains unpunished...[A]t least 17 defenders were killed in the state from January to October 2016...The...[Brazilian Committee of Human Rights Defender]...sent a request for urgent action to the United Nations...

[It refers to Sustainable Energy of Brazil consortium (Energia Sustentável do Brasil - ESBR), which is made up mostly of GDF SUEZ (France), Mitsui (Japan), Eletrosul (Brazil) and São Francisco Hydroelectric Company (Brazil), Santo Antônio Energia consortium, formed by Furnas Centrais Elétricas, Caixa FIP Amazônia Energia, Odebrecht Energia do Brasil, SAAG Investimentos and Cemig. It also refers to Enesa Engenharia and J. Maclucelli.]

 

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Article
21 December 2016

Brasil: DNA testing confirms that body found in Jirau dam reservoir was of Nicinha known for her fight defending people affected by the dam

Author: Movement of People Affected by Dams/Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens-MAB (Brazil)

“Nicinha’s body is identified by DNA testing- The scientific technical support unit of the State Police in Rondônia (RO) confirmed that the body found six months ago in the reservoir created by the Jirau Hydroelectric Dam belonged to a woman militant of the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB).”

On...December 13, the scientific technical support unit of the Police...of...Rondônia announced the results of the DNA test confirming the murder of Nilce de Souza Magalhães,...known as Nicinha. Family relatives and members of the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) are...preparing a tribute and...political act in memory of this fisherwoman...affected by the Jirau Hydroelectric Dam (HD). Nicinha, a militant of MAB, disappeared on January 7, 2016in Porto Velho. Her body was found on June 21,...400 meters from her old house in the fishing camp near the Mutum River...at the bottom of the reservoir of the Jirau HD with her hands and legs tied to a rock...[She]…was known...for her fight...defending the affected populations of the Jirau HD...[and]...participation in the denunciations of human rights violations committed by the Sustainable Energy of Brazil consortium (Energia Sustentável do Brasil - ESBR), owners of...Jirau HD...[S]everal denunciations were made, thanks to the leadership of fisher folks who participated in public hearings and demonstrations pointing out the serious impacts made on fishing activity in the Madeira River. The accusations led to two civil investigations...carried out by the Federal and State Public Prosecution offices...

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Author: Mario Campagnani, Justiça Global (Brazil)

 “III Homenagem Maria do Espírito Santo Silva – Pela valorização das defensoras de direitos humanos”, 15 de dezembro de 2016

Para nós, mulheres, cada direito conquistado é o resultado de muita luta e resistência, não apenas contra mandos e desmandos de governos autoritários e conservadores que insistem em tirar nossos direitos fundamentais, ou das empresas que expropriam nossos territórios, devastam nossas terras e rios e que ainda financiam...a militarização das nossas favelas, ou de uma legislação que impede que tenhamos domínio sobre nossos...corpos. Lutamos...contra o machismo e o patriarcado entranhado na sociedade, que nos silencia, desqualifica e mata, pela nossa condição de mulher. Para nós, mulheres negras, a situação é agravada pela ausência de uma política de reparação histórica, que nos condenou a empregos com baixa remuneração e de reminiscência escravocrata, condições precárias de habitação, saúde e educação e uma política de criminalização da pobreza, que nos encarcera. Estamos mobilizadas pelo direito à vida,...exercício pleno da liberdade e...acesso à nossa história...É nesse cenário que estão inseridas as defensoras de direitos humanos. Só neste ano...o Comitê Brasileiro de Defensoras e Defensores de Direitos Humanos registrou o assassinato de sete mulheres que atuam na luta pela terra, território e meio ambiente, contra a violência institucional, a tortura, o racismo, o machismo, contra as violações de direitos humanos cometidas por empresas e no enfrentamento de um modelo de desenvolvimento violador de direitos...[A]...Justiça Global tem a honra de homenagear...[desde 2014 pela Homenagem Maria do Espírito Santo Silva]..., a cada ano, mulheres que estão na linha de frente na luta pelos direitos humanos no Brasil...Em 2016, celebramos com Djanira Krenak, liderança povo Krenak, Dona Julia Procópio, da Rede de Comunidades e Movimentos Contra a Violência, Iza Cristina Bello (a Índia) e Lurdilane Gomes da Silva (a Ludma), do Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragem, Sandra Quintela, do Instituto Políticas Alternativas para o Cone Sul e Wilma Melo, do Serviço Ecumênico de Militância nas Prisões...

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Author: Mario Campagnani, Justiça Global (Brazil)

“III Homenagem Maria do Espírito Santo Silva – Pela valorização das defensoras de direitos humanos”, 2016

…Homenageadas…Djanira Krenak…[É]…liderança de um povo que está em luta há centenas de anos,…enfrentou e sobreviveu à colonização portuguesa, que visava o extermínio dos indígenas, os quais se mantiveram de pé quando foram expulsos de seus territórios para a construção da Estrada de Ferro Vitória-Minas e massacrados durante a ditadura empresarial-militar. O povo Krenak resiste…Djanira cresceu à beira do Rio Doce, em Resplendor, Minas Gerais…A continuidade das tradições do seu povo foi novamente ameaçada…[em]…5 de novembro de 2015, quando uma das barragens de rejeitos tóxicos da mineradora Samarco se rompeu, matando o Rio Doce…O rio era onde eles realizavam seus rituais, festas, batizavam as crianças e tiravam ervas para remédios, alimentos e praticavam a sua religiosidade...Na região Amazônica, projetos ligados à cadeia extrativa mineral e à geração de energia tem se destacado com grandes violadores de direitos humanos…A luta por terra e moradia…afeta…as comunidades rurais…[e]…urbanas…É neste contexto que se localiza a luta de…Ludma…e… Índia,…do…MAB…[que]…passaram a ser ameaçadas constantemente por pessoas contratadas pela usinas…[hidrelétricas]…e também por agentes públicos. A apreensão com relação à segurança de Ludma e Índia tornou-se ainda maior após o desaparecimento e assassinato…[Nicinha]…

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