Indians accuse Government trample negotiating with police to ensure that use of plant studies

 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

 

Indians accuse Government trample negotiating with police to ensure that use of plant studies

 

In an unprecedented action, the Union sends military troops to ensure the environmental impact studies of plant São Luiz do Tapajós-PA. Munduruku Indians say they were not consulted and accuse Government of breaking deal to go along prior consultation.
The report is the portal of the Instituto Socioambiental-Isa, 4/1/2013.
The federal Government sent at the beginning of the week, a military force to Itaituba, in the West of Pará, to ensure the work of 80 technicians who are harvesting data, according to the MME (Ministry of mines and energy), to the study of environmental impact of hydropower São Luiz do Tapajós, the largest power plant planned for the Rio Tapajós.
There is no official confirmation of the quota, that could be about 60 agents from the National Force, Federal Police and Federal Highway, according to the (MPF) Federal Public Ministry in para. It is the first time that the Union uses the police to ensure the submission of studies of a plant.
The Tapajós Operation happens in an area inhabited by Indians Munduruku, in the process of identification by Funai (National Indian Foundation) since 2007, the amount of Itaituba, in the region of the forest of Itaituba II. They have not been consulted on the action and have shown against the deployment of hydroelectric plants in the region.
Munduruku leaders accuse the Government of trampling the negotiation he was driving himself, since September, through the (GSP) General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic, to define the procedures for consultation with these communities on the work.
“[The operation] is an affront. It seems that the Government does not want to talk, do not want to discuss. We, on the other hand, we want to negotiate, “says Francisco Iko, Coordinator of the Pahyhyt indigenous Association, which represents the Middle Munduruku Tapajós. “We do not accept that police take our lands without our authorisation for any type of operation,” said the letter released by the Pusuru indigenous Association, the upper Tapajós .
Tense atmosphere

In September, the Indians approached technicians who collected data to the same studies, without the consent of the local communities, and asked to withdraw from the area. The Government claims that they were threatened and that, therefore, the police were called to escort them. The Tapajós Operation should last 30 days and happens after another Federal Police operation in November, resulted in the death of  Munduruku, Teles Pires in the village, near Jacareacanga, in the same region. The goal was to shut down illegal mines in the Munduruku, IT already established area.
According to the SGP, the Tapajós Operation does not visit the villages. The MPF and Munduruku leaders, however, fear a confrontation because of the tense atmosphere installed in the region after the death of Jimmy.
In the second (25/3), the MPF asked the Federal Court of Santarém (PA) the suspension of the Tapajós Operation .In response, the judge Chukwuemeka Aaron Paul chancelou both the continuity of research as the presence of law enforcement .
“At a minimum, these studies are unsuitable and escalate tempers that were no longer calm,” Attorney Stephen Cazetta.
Days before, the Government had already sent the National Force to prevent demonstrations in the construction of the Belo Monte plantin Altamira (PA). The actions signal the hardening of the position of Government Dilma Rousseff in the deployment of hydroelectric dams in the Amazon, that suffers civil society and opposition of the social movement.
The Constitution and the Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization (ILO), ratified by Brazil, require prior consultation of indigenous populations on any endeavor that affects their territories.
Different version
At a meeting on the day 15/3, in Itaituba, representatives from SGP delivered to indigenous leaders earlier decision of Portela, November, which partially granted request for injunction of the MPF to suspend all procedures related to the implementation of the power plant of São Luiz do Tapajós. The decision is not suspended the environmental impact studies, but only prohibited the granting of prior license until the Indians were heard. Determined that the MPF would like the oitivas should occur and the Government make the AAI (Integrated environmental assessment) of the impacts of all dams planned for the Tapajós River basin.
Although notes published by the MME and by AGU (Solicitor-General), last week, they include only São Luiz do Tapajós, the GSP States that the data will be included in the AAI.
The Coordinator of field Movements and territories of SGP, Nilton Tubinosays that, in the meeting of 15/3 day, reported the Munduruku leaders to studies of São Luiz do Tapajós would continue, regardless of the query. At the same meeting, the representatives of the Government presented a proposal for the consultation of the Indians on the grounds that the term of Justice so that the MPF manifested on the subject was ending.

“We are trying to talk since September with the communities. When it begins to advance the conversation, there is a retreat again. In fact, this [the operation] is part of the judgment as well. If we have to fulfill it to the query, we must also stick to it to make the studies “, defends Tubino.
The Munduruku are a different version.Francisco Iko account that the combined at the meeting of the day 15/3 was that the Indians would give a reply on the proposal in 15 days. To do this, they would gather representatives from more than a hundred high and Medium villages Tapajós. Iko argues that it was not clear to the leaders that, meanwhile, the studies would follow. Almost a week before the deadline, the National Force landed in Itaituba. The Munduruku consider that there was a breach of the agreement.
There is a new meeting scheduled between Indians and Government for the day 10/4. The Munduruku intend to take a position on the case until then.
The MPF has not yet manifested itself about how the consultation should occur. Ubiratan Cazetta argues that this is not the institution’s assignment. He recalls that the SGP is conducting a debate with civil society and the social movement on the regulation of the theme.
Decision taken
The question for the Munduruku is knowing what will be its effective influence on the construction of the power plant. They consider that the continuity of environmental impact studies shows that the project moves forward without that may express an opinion on the subject.
“This kind of attitude [of the Government] transmits a signal too bad, of arrogance, that the dialogue with the community will be formal only, to ratify a decision previously taken and that the opinion of the indigenous group affected will not be relevant,” said Ubiratan Cazetta.
The impression is reinforced on the information confirming that the Government has already taken the decision not only to follow with feasibility studies, but to take the role of dams in São Luiz do Tapajós and Jatoba, a few miles upriver.
The two works have resources provided for in the PAC (growth acceleration program) and the MME plan to include them in the auction of energy that must occur at the beginning of 2014, election year. The rush also explains the unprecedented decision to send military force to Stop: If the studies are not completed in the coming months, the expectation can be frustrated.
Last year, the Presidential Palace had already left clear its determination to deploy the projects, when, to accommodate them, alter, through provisional measure, the limits of six UCs (protected areas) in the Tapajós River basin. The only National Park in the Amazon lost 43.7 thousand hectares, including desafetadas because the areas and rural producers intrusion (read more). São Luiz do Tapajós has 6.1 thousand MW of installed capacity, but will produce 3.3 thousand MW of firm power, with a reservoir of 722 square kilometers. Jatoba have 2.3 thousand MW of installed capacity, 1.2 thousand MW of firm power and 646.3 reservoir square kilometers.
Additionally, a power plant are planned in the Tapajós River and other tributaries: one more in Apiacás, four in Jamanxim and six more in the Teles Pires. In the latter, the Teles Pires plant is already under construction.

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