AHOMAR fishermen protesting against Petrobras pipeline in Guanabara Bay
Gisborne District Councillor Manu Caddie says a tip off from a credible source about planned AOS raids led campaigners against drilling off the East Cape to go public. Documentation of recent Police violence against local fishermen opposing a Petrobras owned pipeline in Brazil and the 2007 AOS raids against Tuhoe had meant those opposed to the Petrobras activities in New Zealand had to take the information seriously.
Mr Caddie says he has obtained a report
from Brazil that documents police violence since 2009 against members of Associação dos Homens do Mar (AHOMAR) a union of around 700 fishermen in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro.
has taken up the case of the fishermen after the Treasurer of their association was assassinated on 22 May 2009
in front of his wife and children. Paulo César dos Santos Souza was beaten in his home by armed men who then dragged him outside and shot Santos Souza five times in the head. A few hours earlier armed men threatened the protesting fishermen at the Petrobras pipeline worksite. According to Santos Souza’s family, before they killed him they interrogated him, asking him about documents belonging to the fishermen’s union.
Mr Caddie has been in contact with AHOMAR President Alexandre Anderson de Souza who has escaped attempts on his own life and has been warned by local Police that it is no longer safe for him to fish in the area and he should ‘stay indoors’. “We anticipate some real solidarity between the two campaigns – the fishermen of Guanabara Bay know a lot more about Petrobras than we do in New Zealand, so we look forward to supporting them and learning about their situation as they learn about ours.”
“While New Zealand does not have the extrajudicial executions and parapolicing mafia of Rio, locals here are questioning the relationships between the Executive, military, Petrobras and the Police in this campaign against deep sea drilling” said Mr Caddie. “The Government are under a huge amount of pressure on this issue and in such situations may resort to desperate measures. The statement
issued last night by Police Headquarters that rumours of raids were speculation was less than reassuring – if they have no plans for AOS intervention I think they should explicitly confirm that.”
is the location of a Petrobras accident in 2000 that leaked 1.3 million litres of oil into the bay and the area has still not fully recovered from the event. Petrobras has spent more than US$200million on the cleanup and the company has not had a similar disaster since, though the Petrobras P36 platform sinking
in 2001 took 11 lives and 1.5 million litres of oil being leaked into the ocean.
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