sexta-feira, 20 de março de 2009



Heitor Campos Botelho

A few human beings in a lifetime leave their marks in History so as to be remembered throughout times - principally if they have never lost determination and nobility to defend human survival conditions in the planet - however cruel and painful their passage.

Persons of such a lineage are generally remembered after death – when new generations harvest the fruit of their sacrifices.

People and power have been cruel toward great men who had changed the History of mankind as we are aware that intelligence, philosophical or religious ideologies bothered the ones in charge of our destinies, either financially or State wise.

Both will have such men as enemies , firstly financial capital, voracious for the evil metal, without any mercy to sacrifice Humanity for profit and wealth ; secondly the State via their commanders-in-chief in whatever levels and power rank - as they who are backed up by power and laws , keep silent, blind and mute – either because they are cowards or because they have untold interests , conscious that they will be forever forgotten, if not for the evil they caused.

I mean to talk about Sergio Ulhoa Dani who is one of the fearless and obstinate men who fight for their convictions and who through knowledge , of a rare intelligence and deep culture, do not allow ideas and ideals to be shaken by drawbacks when fighting for the survival of the planet Earth and mainly for the quality of life to affect the future generations of Paracatu.

Sergio Dani has long been warning the population most of the times on an isolated cry but shielded in the power of his knowledge, as he carries a Medical Doctor degree by the Federal University of Minas Gerais, a Ph.D. by the Medizinische Hochschule Hannover (Germany), a post doctorate degree in molecular bilogy by the University of Osaka ( Japan) , full professorship in Genetics by the University of São Paulo and a post-doctorate degree in Cancer Genetics by the Ludwing Institute. He holds the knowledge to teach us that if the present RPM-Kinross gold exploration conditions persist the future of our quality of life shall be nothing but somber.

RPM-Kinross digs for gold in a section of Paracatu – we are aware of it as it suffices to look at the Amoreiras section to visualize the generated thick dust and listen to loud noise of their operational activities in what once used to be a quiet hill.
It is said to be the largest open sky mine in the world and a recent multi-million dollar project means to have it as one of the largest gold mines in the country.
RPM-Kinross is a major tax payer and that makes their CEO´s feel more powerful than our City Hall representatives, as they claim to bring the profits – profits which we shall never be able to account for because their Income is self-declared , i.e., it is not inspected or checked upon the Paracatu City Hall Finances Department.

One is then to ask " What do the City and population profit from?".

All of the gold retrieved from our city is taken away by guarded armored cars, helicopters or planes.

Whatever is left behind after the gold extraction, just above the city level, is just an enormous tailings dam full of dangerous chemical products plus the mentioned noise, the explosion caused earthquakes, the thick dust, the hole, the shortage of water and some dollars one could collect as institution distributed values - i.e., a little more than the equivalent of $100.000 USA (one hundred thousand dollars) per year, plus taxes and financial compensation that do not match 5% of net income value for the extracted gold.

They claim they move the City economy, we do not deny it. But income and job generation are not social function of property , they represent simple transient economical functions. It so happens that now Dr. Sergio Dani warns that besides the dam contamination , noise, explosion caused earthquakes, the hole and shortage of water , there lies a bigger and invisible problem : RPM-Kinross gold extraction releases , from the moved land , the mineral arsenic – lethal for living beings.

Arsenic is present within the dust that originates from RPM-Kinross and Amoreiras section , it is breathed full time and arsenic causes cancer. If Dr Sergio Dani is correct- and we have reasons to believe he is – how many members of our community , relatives and friends, must die before the City Hall representatives and peer authorities acknowledge the existing problem? How many lives should be lost because we lacked the courage to face it and follow Sergio Dani ? How many lives are we to lose because we did not dare fighting against RPM-Kinross , because we have been cowards?

Only in the day after, if there is a post Morten life, shall we cope with the consequences of our irresponsible silence – if we are able to visualize the suffering of our children and grandchildren. No doubt be left that RPM-Kinross gold extraction in the city of Paracatu is evil to human beings. No doubt be left that the restrained population fears to speak out . No doubt be left that the municipality elected representatives are incapable and negligent. No doubt one day we shall write the name of Dr Sergio Dani on a billboard inside a crater in the Amoreiras section – the site where gold was extracted and, in lieu, the community dignity buried down. His name shall be there as a reminder that Justice was not carried out in due time by a generation that should have never been born for it impaired the future of generations to follow.

Heitor Campos Botelho, a Paracatu born citizen, Lawyer, Municipality Elected Representative, Municipality Attorney, Juridical Matters Secretary, and President of the OAB -MG 31ª Subsection.

Posted by Serrano Neves at :    
Markers: Acangaú News