Saturday, 14 May 2016

A discussion with Martha Lu from Sao Paulo, Brazil

I was fortunate to be able to catch up with Martha Lu who has just recently moved to Brisbane, Australia from Sao Paulo.

We discuss the tragedy of what is happening politically in Brazil, the corruption and the denial and specifically how it relates to the question of water for the poor people of Brazil who have been ignored by the government, the ruling elite and by the corporation that was responsible for destroying their lives.

Martha devoted herself, as a photojournalist to chronicling what is otherwise swept under the carpet and helps people to tell their story where they would otherwise be ignored and silenced.

Martha talks about a feeling that is so common to many of us of helplessness in the face of tragedy of this magnitude and explains her reasons for deciding to leave Brazil.

What is happening to Brazil is a tragedy of gargantuan magnitude and is a warning to us all. It is a tragedy that differs from what faces us in the ‘developed” world only in magnitude and in its timescale – but not in kind.

There but by the grace of God go we.


Focus on Brazil
An interview with Martha Lu from Sao Paulo

Part one

Part two

Here is the article from last year  on Brazil by Robertscribbler

Martha makes reference to this.When the players at the Olympic arena were overcome by the stench of sulfa the response of the authorities was to spray perfume.
Atletas criticam odor, e Rio-2016 cogita jogar perfume em arena de handebol

The stench was one of the leading brands of the first day of the event-a test of handball for the Olympic games of 2016, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro. The preliminary competition began on Friday (29), in the Arena of the Future, which is in the Olympic Park in Barra da Tijuca, and will be the headquarters of the sport in the Games. After the athletes have complained about the odor, the organizing committee of Rio-2016 devised using perfume to disguise the environment

Swift-moving drama has defined Brazil's political landscape in recent weeks, with the beleaguered Dilma Rousseff government teetering on the abyss. Many consider attacks against her to amount to an affront to democracy and a reversal of the hard-fought gains of the 1988 Constitution, which ushered out a brutal military dictatorship. Yet, what lurks behind this spectacle could be far worse than a coup d'├ętat: powerful political and economic forces are now moving to dismantle the country's human rights and environmental standards, with grave implications for the Amazon and its peoples.....[ ]

Here is an article I posted late last year by Martha Lu reporting her experiences chronicling the mining disaster at Bento Rodrigues.

We are living in a world of ecological and human catastrophe. Events occur, stay in the headlines and then disappear and people forget and don’t give it another thought.

But somewhere people’s lives have been ruined forever and they are living with destituation, ill health – and denial.

One of the examples of this is in Brazil and the mining disaster that occcured in the village of Bento Rodrigues in November,

Much as I’d like to do justice to everyone it is simply impossible. But I am fortunate to have a friend in Brazil, Martha Lu who is chronicling the drought in Sao Paulo and now, this disaster that befell the people of Bento Rodrigues.

She recently travelled to have a look herself, so I will leave her to describe this in her own words:

Martha Lu, Brazil

I would like to share and ask for help. I believe that you all know about the major mine accident here in Brazil, the one who kiiled not only human lifes but a major river.

The UN special rapporteur urged the Brazilian Government to secure access to safe drinking water and sanitation for people affected by catastrophic collapse of a tailing dam in Mariana. - 

See more at:
By the Brazilian legislation water, to be considered for human consumption, should have a limit of 100 UNT of turbidity. The river has, stated by the own Brazilian government, in some points up to 20.440
Mineral water is being given to the people but in a very harmful condition. They have to wait, under the sun and 36oC temperatures, up to 8 hours to receive some bottles.

Now the Samarco Company wants to end the distribuition.

Brazilian Government is telling that the water is safe to consume

although people are getting sick for drinking it.

I have traveled the whole area

I talk to the people, I saw whats is happening and nobody wants to talk about it.

We do not know what is in that water, even UN asked for safe water but did not tell what is in the water that people are getting in their taps.

We need to know to what people are being exposed to due the contact of this water, we have almost a million people in that area. If they are being exposed to something that will compromise their health and the governmental authorities are doing nothing, this is genocide.

We need to know the truth about the quality of the water

Look what happened with my boot
    I am trying to get it analyzed but the reliable institute here said no
    They do not want to produce evidence against the boss

Here is Martha's report about Sao Paulo from last September

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