Ibama obligates Norte Energia to register people affected by Belo Monte

The Norte Energia, concessionaire of the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant, will have to make the socioeconomic register of the residents of the Lagoa do Bairro Independente 1, in Altamira. The determination was issued by IBAMA on this Monday (5), after more than two years of struggle and organization of the community with the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB).

The registration is an achievement of the residents, who struggle to be recognized as affected by Belo Monte. There are about 500 families who live in a permanently swamped area, without sanitation, and were taken to occupy the site after the real estate inflation caused by the construction of the hydroelectric plant. Norte Energia, however, has so far refused to recognize any responsibility in relation to those affected.

According to the letter signed by Ibama's licensing director, the purpose of this registartion is to "identify the temporality of the population influx to the region of Lagoa do Independente 1 (...) containing at least the following information: identification of the residents, time duration living in the area, origin of the residents, reasons that led to their residing in the area and description of the dwelling (palafita or others). " Registration must be done between 20 and 60 days from this Monday (December 5).

MAB commemorates the decision of the Brazilian Institute of Enviroment and Natural Resources - IBAMA, but ponders that the registration self is not enough to guarantee the right of those affected for a resettlement. "We have achieved this first step thanks to the hard struggle of those affected and the awareness of the staff of Ibama's office here in Altamira. Now, it will be necessary to continue fighting to ensure the right for resettlement, "says Izan Passos, a MAB activist and community resident.

Another concern of those affected is that Norte Energia usually requires series of documents to prove that families are affected, as it did in other areas in the city of Altamira. However, because it is an irregular occupation, most of the residents have no proof of address. "We have to ensure that this registration does represent the reality of the occupation of the area, otherwise Norte Energia will use this register to relieve itself of guaranteeing the rights of the families," said Jackson Dias, a MAB activist. According to the militant, the activists will seek the support of the Office of the Public Defender of the Union, which has been following the case.