The undersigned movements, organisations and deputies repudiate the decision of the Brazilian governmental agency, Fundação Cultural Palmares, to allow the issuance of the preliminary environmental licence for the construction of a transmission line, that will have an impact on quilombola communities in Óbidos (Amazon, State of Pará) without conducting a free, prior and informed consent, guaranteed by legislation.
Alleging the impossibility of carrying out the consent because of the coronavirus pandemic and the need to guarantee the legal deadlines necessary for the procedures of environmental licencing processes, on 26th May, the Fundação Cultural Palmares gave its consent to the issuing of the preliminary environmental licence for the Transmission Line 230 kV Oriximiná-Juruti-Parintins. Three days later (29th May), Ibama issued the preliminary permit to Parintins Amazonas Transmissora de Energia, a company owned by Celeo Redes Brasil and Elecnor.
The Foundation alleges, in the opinion on which the decision was based, that the prior consent will take place later, that is, it is no longer PRIOR as stipulated by Convention no. 169 of the International Labour Organisation.
It causes indignation that the quilombola communities of Arapucu, Muratubinha, Mondongo and Igarapé Açú dos Lopes have not even been notified of the decision by the Fundação Cultural Palmares.
It is unacceptable and perverse that the pandemic, which should inspire solidarity, is used as a justification for disrespecting the rights of quilombola communities to prior consent.
Furthermore, it should be noted that Fundação Cultural Palmares made such decision when it no longer had the competence to manifest itself in the environmental licencing procedures of projects that impact quilombola communities. This attribution had already been transferred to other Brazilian governmental agency, Instituto Nacional de Colonização e Reforma Agrária (Incra), which did not manifest itself in the process.
Therefore, WE DEMAND that:
- The Preliminary Permit is immediately cancelled by Ibama.
- And that the environmental licencing process at Ibama and Incra is halted until it is possible to conduct a free, prior and informed consultation.