Paraguayan Protestors Close the Entrance to the Itapu Dam
On Thursday, Paraguayans who worked on the construction of the Itaipu hydroelectric plant blocked the passage of vehicles to that infrastructure as a measure to demand the payment of an economic compensation that they have not received for more than 30 years.
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The protesters request US$940 million in compensation, which is part of the «social benefits contemplated in the Itaipu Treaty,» former workers’ spokesman Ignacio Lisboa said, adding that they will continue protesting until they are attended to by «someone responsible for this debt.»
«Over 16,000 ex-workers are demanding economic compensation,» he said and recalled that they sent two letters to Manuel Caceres, the Paraguayan director of Itaipu Binacional. So far, however, they have not received any response.
In another demonstration held on March 10, workers also blocked traffic for three hours on the Friendship Bridge, which connects Ciudad del Este with the Brazilian city of Foz de Iguazu.
Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam- This is what it looks like to dump 8 million litres of water per second����#InterestingEngineering #ItaipuDam #Hydroelectric #WeAreRS #Wow pic.twitter.com/XxMWTybnDY
— RS (@WeAreRSGroup)
March 15, 2023
On August 28, 2022, the Paraguayan Congress approved a bill through which resources from the Itaipu hydroelectric plant are allocated to address the benefits not received by the citizens who worked on the construction of Itaipu, an infrastructure Paraguay and Brazil share.
A couple of months later, Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez vetoed the bill, arguing that the Itaipu’s financial resources must be defined taking as reference an international treaty whose norms «have precedence over any type of ordinary law».
«Neither the Paraguayan congress nor the Brazilian congress can modify an international treaty and modify the financial equation of Itaipu Binacional,» he said during a press conference in October 2022.
The National Peasant Federation (FNC) of Paraguay announced that it will mobilize on March 30 to demand that the State cease evictions against peasant and indigenous communities. pic.twitter.com/JmpsNLD2pB
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish)
March 2, 2023