Since 1998, rural communities in the region of Coronel Murta, in Minas Gerais, had been mobilized and had been resisting against the project of an hydroelectric plant on the rio Jequitinhonha. The Murta hydroelectric power plant project aimed to produce 120 MW of energy. The cost of the project was estimated at $ 300 million. The reservoir of the dam would inundate 20.6 km2 of land, being a significant portion consisting of trays and cultivated areas. The dam lake threatened about 900 families, 22 communities of the municipalities of Coronel Murta, Virgem da Lapa, Berilo, Grao Mogol, Josenopolis, which in addition to being expelled from their traditional territories, would lose their farming fields, fishing, plants and fruits in the cerrado and caatinga.