In Defense of Rivers, Water and Life
Today, March 14, is the International Day of Struggle Against Dams, and For Rivers, Water and Life. We are sharing a video from our grantee the Movement of People Affected by Dams in Latin America (Movimiento de Afectados por Represas, MAR) as well as their statement for the day.
Also, please join us in taking action for the families affected by the Mariana and Brumadinho dam collapses.
MARCH 14, 2022: PEOPLES AND COMMUNITIES IN STRUGGLE FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST DAMS, FOR RIVERS, WATER AND LIFE.
On March 14, we celebrate the 26th International Day of Action against Dams, for Rivers, Water and Life. It is a historic day around the world, and because of this, the Movimiento de Afectados por Represas Internacional (MAR) invites all communities affected by hydroelectric projects in their territories to protest.
We are living in an economic and health crisis where we need to struggle to guarantee the basic resources to survive: water, energy, food, fuels. All this is being handed over to international finance capital by the hands of governments.
We demand respect for the rights of ancestral peoples and communities and that food production in the hands of peasant communities and small fisherfolk be prioritized.
Large, medium, and small hydroelectric projects continue to block more than 70% of the world’s rivers. The impacts are bigger than the benefits obtained from these projects, which have generated an ecological, economic, social and cultural footprint that is assumed in perpetuity by local communities and states.
We therefore call on all governments to listen to the organizations of people affected by dams in their countries about the proposals they are building for a Just Energy Transition in which historical debt owed to affected communities, peoples and municipalities is recognized. The energy transition must be under the control of popular power; there is no sovereign transition in the bands of the capitalists.
In particular, we call on the governments of Peru, Chile, and Honduras, and parliamentary, congressional, and presidential candidates in Colombia, Brazil, and Guatemala, who have been raising the need to advance an energy transition to ensure that these strategies are built with the people and for the people. The imposition of the interests of the international energy market and extractive companies in energy policies must cease. Our proposal is to change the energy model, not only the way energy is produced, but also that its distribution and commercialization be at fair prices. This must be considered a universal right; there should be no more privatization in any area of energy.
Solar energy, windmills, and small hydroelectric plants, among others, are not clean energy if they are not the result of consensus with local communities, nor are they clean if they cause irreversible negative effects. Nor are they clean if they take the lives of defenders of nature, such as the life of Berta Cáceres at the hands of a Honduran businessman who wanted to impose a hydroelectric plant on Rio Blanco, with blood and fire. We also pay tribute to Bertha, to COPINH [the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, which Berta had co-founced], and all our murdered leaders this March 14.
jQue se alce el puño, que se alce la mano, que se levante el pueblo latinoamericano!
Water and energy are not merchandise! Long live the struggle of people affected by dams!