Between February 27 and March 4, the 142 people who make up the Independent Technical Advisory (Assessoria Técnica Independente – ATI) teams of the Interstate Agricultural Development Association (Associação de Desenvolvimento Agrícola Interestadual – Adai) took part in general training, obtaining information and studies about the territories affected by the collapse of the Fundão Dam in Espírito Santo in November 2015. The face-to-face meeting continued the activities that had been taking place virtually since February 7th. 

 

The ATI was built over the last seven years and responds to the request of those affected in the territories of Baixo Guandu, Colatina, Marilândia, Regência, Povoação, Linhares and the North Coast Macroregion – São Mateus and Conceição da Barra. The mission is to promote broad and informed participation in decision-making processes, with technical support and independent of the companies, with a view to full reparation for the losses and damage suffered by the families affected, prioritizing the centrality of the victims’ suffering in the reparation process.

 

The construction of the ATI’s work plan is a tool for communicating the demands of those affected. “For the construction of our work plan, an important premise adhered to by Adai is that we do not negotiate the rights of those affected.” ADAI’s institutional coordinator, Lidiene Cardoso, said.

 

Understanding that the training process is continuous and necessary for the development of the work of the Advisory Service for and with the people affected, during the training, facilitators were invited to present and reflect on the history, data and information about the current scenario of the territories where the advisory service will operate. “The basis of our work is the people affected and their struggle for rights.” The project’s general coordinator, Marjorie Cavalli Renner, said.

 

Public defender Mariana Andrade Sobral gave a historical account of the socio-technological disaster in the Rio Doce Basin and pointed out that “over the years of providing legal advice to those affected, I’ve been careful to look at everyone, but especially women and children. Mental health needs to be a priority issue. I believe that the damage to the Rio Doce and the impact of the dissolution of relationships will mainly affect the next generations. We need to help these people rebuild their lives through affection and dignified reparation.” 

 

International Day of Struggle for Working Women 

 

On the International Day of Struggle for Working Women, March 8, the women affected will pay tribute in memory of their comrade, popular educator and also affected Flávia Merçon Leonardo. The demonstration will take place from 2 p.m. in Getúlio Vargas Square in the center of Vitória. Flávia was one of the four victims brutally murdered in the attacks on two schools in the municipality of Aracruz (ES) on November 25, 2022.  The women affected continue to fight so that other ‘Flavias’ don’t fall victim to machismo, patriarchy and social inequality. 

 

The Independent Technical Advisory Office will be attending the activity at the invitation of and in support of the women affected. 

 

The women affected by the Fundão dam disaster are an important driving force in the reparation process, and will be advised by ATI with attention to the particularities they demand. FGV, the Public Prosecutor’s Office expert in the process of taking responsibility for the damage caused by the collapse of the Fundão dam, prepared a report on the situation of women affected by the Rio Doce disaster based on data from the Renova Foundation ombudsman’s office. The FGV points out the importance of recognizing the process of marginalization of women in reparation processes, which manifests itself in different ways, such as “greater difficulty in participating in decision-making processes; unequal access to emergency aid and reparation measures; an increase in the overload of domestic and care tasks; non-recognition of the economic and subsistence activities previously carried out; difficulty in accessing health care; and an increase in domestic violence and intra-family conflicts”. The full report can be accessed on the Getúlio Vargas Foundation website https://bibliotecadigital.fgv.br.

Adai 

 

ADAI is a non-profit organization founded in 1993 and operating nationwide. It began its work in the southern region of Brazil, with the mission of representing and guaranteeing the defense of the rights of those affected by dams, through social assistance and the provision of technical assistance and rural extension (ATER) services to its members, who are mostly riverside families or resettled people. It has a technical team made up of various professionals in different areas of the humanities and agrarian sciences at secondary, technical and higher education levels who seek to promote education through training and stimulating work that encourages organization, participation and solidarity, as well as promoting social and economic development by fighting poverty through associative and cooperative actions.

 

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