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Murta dam, MG, Brazil


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.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Murta dam, MG, Brazil
State or province:Minas Gerais
Location of conflict:Coronel Murta, Virgem da Lapa, Josenopolis, Grao Mogol e Berilo
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Water
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Murta Dam is designed to have a capacity of approximately 120 MW. 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.

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Project area:2060
Level of Investment:300000000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:2700
Start of the conflict:1998
Company names or state enterprises:CMPB-Enegético
Technical Industrial company s.a
Murta Energética S.A
Relevant government actors:Governo do Estado de Minas Gerais, Governo Federal, Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica , Fundacao Estadual de Meio Ambiente
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Grupo de Estudos Ambientais (GESTA/UFMG), Plataforma Dhesca Brasil, Coalicion Rios Vivos (see attached file, Letter to the President Lula)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Infectious diseases, Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
Project cancelled
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:The project was suspended.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

AGENCIA NACIONAL DE ENERGIA ELETRICA - ANEEL. Despacho N. 640, De 28 de Fevereiro de 2012. Acesso em: 30 mai. 2012.

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

MAPA DE CONFLITOS ENVOLVENDO INJUSTIÇA AMBIENTAL E SAUDE NO BRASIL. Estado protela arquivamento do pedido de licenciamento da Usina Hidrelétrica de Murta, no vale do Jequitinhonha. Disponível em: Acesso em: 20 jul. 2013.
[click to view]

MAB comemora cancelamento de barragem em MG. Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens (MAB), Sao Paulo, 21/09/2012. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 30 mai. 2012.
[click to view]

COSTA, Luciano. Aneel aprova divisao da UHE Murta para tirar projeto da gaveta. Jornal da energia, 01/03/2012. Disponível em: Acesso em: 30 mai. 2012.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Jequitinhonha river near the Coronel Murta city

Public hearing on the UHE Murta - October/2002
[click to view]

sobre o rio jequi, cel murta.jpg
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Diogo Rocha
Last update18/08/2019
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