People affected by the collapse of the Fundão dam delivered a proposal for a State Policy for People Affected by Dams at a solemn launch event  of the ATI in the Legislative Assembly of the State of Espírito Santo, reinforcing the importance of the Renegotiation of the Rio Doce.


Last Friday (17), the Independent Technical Advisory Body (Assessoria Técnica Independente – ATI) of the Interstate Agricultural Development Association (Associação de Desenvolvimento Agrícola Interestadual – Adai), elected to work with and for those affected by dams in Espírito Santo, was invited to take part in a solemn  plenary session at the Espírito Santo State Legislative Assembly (Ales). The event was organized by the House Environment Committee and the Federal Chamber’s External Committee on Renegotiation to present the Independent Technical Advisory (Assessoria Técnica Independente – ATI).  On the occasion, the people affected delivered the agenda of the State Policy for People Affected by Dams (Política Estadual dos Atingidos por Barragens – PEAB), reinforcing the importance  of the Rio Doce Renegotiation. 


Also present were people affected, social movements, traditional peoples and communities, as well as parliamentary representation in the form of state deputy Iriny Lopes and federal deputy and rapporteur of the external commission on the Fundão dam, Helder Salomão. Congresswoman Iriny emphasized that the reason for holding the hearing was to resume the debate that has been going on since 2008. “On the importance of legislation, as is done in Minas Gerais, which guarantees those affected technical assistance and advice that can allow them the right to make proposals that are in line with their real needs, not the monthly fee proposed by Renova and all the problems that this action brings,” he said.


Achieving the right to an Independent Technical Advisory Body (Assessoria Técnica Independente – ATI) to support those affected in their quest for fair and full reparations is the result of many struggles over the last seven years.  The Assessoria’s presentation takes place during the week of the International Day of Struggles against Dams, March 14, a time to strengthen the territories through  strategies and political demands for security and reparation for rights violated by large dam projects in Brazil.


The rapporteur of the external commission on the Fundão dam, Helder Salomão, said: “The PEAB’s agenda is a cry for hope  for full and fair reparations for those affected”.


Adai’s ATI is made up of more than a hundred technicians from different areas, such as: Legal, Health, Communication, Pedagogical, among others, who will work with the affected population in the territories of the Rio Doce valley and the coast of ES. The team is starting to work  in the field, helping to involve the people affected in the process of repairing the serious economic, social and environmental consequences caused by the collapse of the Fundão dam in Minas Gerais in 2015.


Lidiene Cardoso, Adai’s institutional coordinator, said that the hearing is a historic milestone in the struggle for reparations for the rights of the people affected.  “The presence of the advisor marks the commitment of this work for and with the people and was won by many hands that have worked hard, day in and day out, over the last seven years,” he said.


The coordinator also stressed that “the renegotiation needs to take into account the lives of women who have been denied access to income and  take into account young people, those who were children are now young people. It needs to be for those people who have been excluded from the process”.


“Renova came to destroy traditional peoples, today everyone is sick. Before the mud came, the whole community made a living from the river and the mangroves. Now, unfortunately, young people are taking drugs. We want decent health care and specialized tests for everyone who has been affected,” said an emotional Crueza Campelo, a resident of Campo Grande in São Mateus.


Also during the event, those affected had their chance to explain the situation in each territory. Fabricio Fiorot, a resident and surfer from Regencia, says he was hit hard.  “I had a social project in the surf village, training athletes in the water, which can no longer take place due to the illnesses that appear in the children,” he said.


It is important to emphasize that the right to ATI is an integral part of the PEAB already approved in the state of Minas Gerais, and of the bill that is seeking approval. national level And with the official submission of the proposal last Friday by the organizations and populations affected, it is also hoped that the law will be passed in the state of Espírito Santo.  Receiving guidance, quality information and support for effective participation in the reparations process is the right of the people affected and the job of the ATI. PEAB’s legal framework as a state policy has contributed to strengthening the communities affected and to building participatory and democratic actions.


Press information:

Adai Communications Team: [email protected]

Photos: Nane Camargos and Lucas S Costa.