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Threats, deceit, pressure and property speculation are the foundations on which one of the country’s wealthiest men, Eike Batista, will build the megaproject Puerto do Acu.
If the project goes through, it will be the largest in South America and it will be seen as a place for exploitation of raw materials to be transformed in the north.
The work, which violates human and territorial rights, has funding from the Brazilian state despite being a project of the one of the world’s top ten wealthiest businessmen.
Nearly 350 million tons of materials will circulate annually in the port, which would have other industries inside. All this in a 90 square kilometer surface, a territory where 1,500 peasant families used to live and who have been displaced in the recent years.
However, Noemi Magalhaes, a 50 year-old woman leader of the struggle against the port is a testimony of resistance.
In mid April, Noemi went from Sao Joao Da Barra municipality in Rio de Janeiro to Anchieta in Santa Catarina state to look for help and ask for solidarity. And she found it. Her case was presented before international delegates who participated in the National Native Seed Festival organized by the Small Peasants’ Movement (MPA-Via Campesina).
In interview with Real World Radio Noemi said that businessman Eike Batista abused the vulnerability of a community of semi illiterate fisherfolk to “spare” having to carry out environmental impact studies, thus saving money. Through deceits and lies he was able to obtain the license for his project.
Many families believed that they were protecting their small agriculture lands, when they were actually signing to be expelled from them with no right to compensation.
The “vulnerability” mentioned by Noemi is based on the local culture, according to which the right to ownership and use of land does not rely on the property title but on the family’s history of having several generations of farmers.
Activists, communicators and academics from several countries who
listened to the testimony of Noemi announced they would start an awareness raising campaign to expose the situation and call for solidarity with the families affected by the mega project.
Photo: Folha Do Sao Paulo
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