Belo Monte, Odebrecht and the Luxembourg Connection
In the recent study "The Battle for Land and Water in Amazonia - Belo Monte, Odebrecht and the Luxembourg Connection", Action Solidarité Tiers Monde (ASTM) reveals that the Brazilian construction group Odebrecht has set up several subsidiaries in Luxembourg to finance controversial infrastructure projects in Latin America. This study provides another example of the need for the "No Corporate Impunity" campaign launched in 2017 to combat the impunity of multinational companies.
Pare Belo Monte” – “Stop Belo Monte”, “No a Chadín 2” – “No to Chadín 2”... Time and again we are confronted with slogans like these from citizens’ initiatives, indigenous peoples, and social movements in Latin America that are directed against specific development projects in their region. They appeal to the public in their own country and at the international level, drawing their attention to acts of injustice that have already been committed or are imminent, in the hope of winning support for their rights and demands.
Through working closely with civil society organisations in Latin America over many years Action Solidarité TiersMonde (ASTM) has gained the experience needed to understand movements of this kind. Also, as the North-South Coordination section of the Luxembourg Climate Alliance, we are committed to protecting the rainforests and their inhabitants (in addition to protecting the world’s climate). Often we can offer the organisations we work with legal, financial or advocacy support, but the extent of the environmental and human rights violations that confront them makes the resistance of such movements to large infrastructure projects, oil fields or mines seem like an almost hopeless fight, the fight of a David versus a Goliath fought from a defensive position. So however necessary this kind of support is, our aim is not merely to react to these situations of injustice, but also to get a better understanding of the global interrelationships involved, make them more transparent, reveal the actors that are located here in Europe and show how we can fulfil our responsibilities as citizens of the world by getting involved directly.
The Belo Monte dam in the Brazilian Amazon Basin serves here as a case study; we could list hundreds more. And in many cases, the companies involved are located in Luxembourg or other countries in Europe.
"We call on the new Luxembourg government to adopt a law making due diligence a mandatory requirement for multinational companies based in Luxembourg."