Friends of the Earth Brazil, Friends of the Earth Latin America and Caribbean (ATALC) and the environmental justice federation Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) around the world once again manifest their strong solidarity in relation to the murder of fisher-woman Nilce de Souza Magalhães, Nicinha, who disappeared in Porto Velho, Rondonia, on 7th January this year. Nicinha was an activist and leader of the Movimiento de los/as Afectados/as por Represas – MAB (“Movement of those affected by hydroelectric dams”). Her body was found five months later at the bottom of the Jirau hydroelectric dam lake for which she sacrificed her life in the struggle to defend the rights of affected peoples. Only today is she receiving the homage she deserves in the Santo Antonio Chapel on the banks of the Rio Madera.
On the International Day of Struggle against Environmental Racism, we share the pain of Nicinha’s family, friends and comrades, and we – together with the other La Vía Campesina movements in Brazil – we remember the countless women and men who have fallen in the defence of the rights of the working class in the countryside and city. In 2016, 17 people have been assassinated in Rondonia state and there have been 30 assassination attempts due to socio-environmental conflicts, most of them related to large infrastructure mega-projects.
We demand a thorough investigation into the motivation behind this barbaric crime, and we demand an end to impunity for those involved in this assassination.
We will continue to work together to defend those struggling, like Nicinha, to resist and transform a violent, unjust and inhumane system, which prioritises the profit of transnational corporations over human rights, and which treats water, energy and life like mere commodities.
Together we will continue to work for environmental justice and to build peoples sovereignty.
Friends of the Earth Brazil
Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean (ATALC)
Friends of the Earth International (FoEI)
Image source: Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens