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The Movement of Dam Affected People of Brazil (MAB), the Bolivian Forum of Environment and Development (FOBOMADE), and the Catalan organization SETEM-Catalunya, will denounce the human rights abuses that took place during the planning and beginning of the construction of the Hidroelectric Complex of Maderia River before the Permanent Peoples Tribunal (PPT) -that will session in Madrid on May 14 and 15.
The Madeira River, where Santo Antonio and Jirau dams are being built, comprises Brazilian, Bolivian and Peruvian territory. It is the Amazonia’s second largest river, which hosts more than 750 fish species and 800 bird species. For this reason it is considered a biodiversity treasure.
Besides the environmental impacts of the hydroelectric dams, MAB, FOBOMADE and SETEM claim the construction of these big dams will cause serious human rights violations against the population affected by it in Brazil and Bolivia.
Some of the effects they are already causing is to increase poverty in the region - by directly affecting the natural resources the local villagers lived on - as well as the lack of respect for the territories of the native peoples and the quality of water. The increasing diseases such as malaria, yellow fever and dengue is another factor warned about in the claim.
For this reason they call the Tribunal to acknowlege that the corporations that are behind this project - French-Belgian corporation GDF-SUEZ, Portuguese corporation BANIF and Spanish SANTANDER- fail to respect human rights. At the same time they are calling for a declaration that says Brazil, France, Spain and Portugal fail to protect the victims of dams from the abuses of said corporations and that neither the United Nations nor the European Union provide effective solutions to the victims of human rights violations.
The organizations are also calling the PPT to acknowledge that the people affected by dams have the right to resist and they also call the tribunal to urge the organizations and governments to create intergovernmental standards on corporations and human rights to "strengthen the protection of human rights and to provide a common framework to solve problems related with the behavior of corporations”, as the standards suggested by the UN are insufficient.
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