Brasilia-the National Federation of journalists~
Brazil Agency Reporter
Brasilia-the National Federation of journalists (Nacional dos Jornalistas) and the Union of professional journalists in the State of Pará in the northern region released today (7) a joint note repudiating the judgment that, in practice, prevents international correspondents, reporters and aides to take one of the construction sites of the Belo Monte dam on the Xingu River, in Pará, to closely monitor the local occupation, which came on the sixth day today.
For entities, the decision of the state judge Cristina Sandoval Collyer, of the District of Altamira (PA), “condemns anyone who is willing to provide the service of withdrawal of various problems experienced by the population of that region to para and Brazilian society”.
Last Friday (3), the judge rejected the application for partial repossession of the Belo Monte dam construction site, made by Consórcio Construtor Belo Monte (Ccbm), responsible for the construction of the power plant. Located about 75 kilometers of Altamira, the construction site is busy since Thursday (2) by protesters calling for the regulation of the process of consultations with traditional peoples about projects that affect their interests and the stoppage of all hydroelectric projects in progress, until the regulation is complete and communities heard.
As most of the group is formed by Indians, mainly ethnic munduruku, the judge said State does not have jurisdiction to determine the total evacuation of the area, request that the Consortium should submit to the Federal Court. The magistrate, however, granted the repossession against non-Indians who were occupying the site. With this, the Reuters photographer, Lunaé Brill; the corresponding Radio France International (RFI) in Brazil, François Cardona and the journalist and Advisor of the indigenous missionary Council (Cimi), Ruy Sposati, were removed from the construction site by a bailiff assisted by police officers. Only non-Indian to be cited by name in the decision, Sposati still was fined $ 1,000. According to the judge, he overturned a court judgment of October 2011, which the Quakers, along with others, to join in the venture.
For the Nacional dos Jornalistas and the Union para, the episode is a “brutal aggression to professional practice”. “Attitudes like this go beyond the respect and freedom of expression and press freedom in our State, a tendency unfortunately in several other States, victimizing other journalists and newspapers”, adds the entities in the joint note. Sought by the Agency, the President of Nacional dos Jornalistas Brazil, Celso Scrhöder, stated that the fact of a journalist working for a non-journalistic organization, does not interfere in the exercise of the profession and of his duties as a journalist.
The main claim of the protesters, the consultation process to traditional people, as Indians and quilombolas, is laid down in Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The Brazil is signatory to the international standard, which was approved by the National Congress in June 20, 2002, in the form of Decree No. 143, and promulgated by the President of the Republic in April 19, 2004. Among other things, the Convention establishes that indigenous peoples and those who are governed wholly or partially by their own customs and traditions or by special legislation, should be consulted whenever legislative or administrative measures that affect their interests. The Convention determines that the query must be made “through appropriate procedures” and through their representative institutions, “with the goal of reaching an agreement and get the consent of the proposed measures”.
Yesterday (6), the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic issued a note stating that the claim of the protesters cause awkwardness, since the federal Government is regulating the right to consultation, with the direct participation of indigenous representatives, conducting meetings to which the “so-called leaders”, especially the munduruku, ethnicity does not have appeared.
“The federal Government maintains its willingness to engage in dialogue with the munduruku for agreement of a suitable procedure of consultation with these people. But we want to have a dialogue with legitimate leadership “, mentions the note. “In the Tapajós region is an ongoing experience practice of planned joint and participation, which will be a kind of laboratory for the regulation of Convention 169 in Brazil. The dialogue with indigenous peoples will serve as a model for the regulation of prior consultation, conducted in participatory and transparent manner by the Secretariat-General. “
For security reasons, the Consórcio Construtor Belo Monte keeps the paralyzed since Thursday. The injury with the interruption of the journey of thousands of workers (according to Norte Energia, only the number of employees permanently housed on site reaches 4 thousand) has not yet been calculated. No act of violence against officials or depredation of property was registered. Norte Energia returned to Federal Court, yesterday, for the repossession of the area.
Editing: Denise Griesinger