Joint Press Release
*Damming Latin Americas` Future*
*Siemens faces protests for participating in Belo Monte and Agua Zarca dams*
*When: 28th of January, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.*
*Where: Siemens' annual shareholder meeting, Olympiahalle at Olympiapark, Munich, Germany*
*/During meeting, the board and shareholders will be challenged to reject bad business for the environment and indigenous populations in Brazil & Honduras/*
/Munich, Germany, 27th of January 2014./ Tomorrow a coalition of Brazilian, American, French and German organizations will stage a spirited protest outside of the German Siemens, denouncing the company’s controversial role in some of the world’s most notorious hydroelectric projects. Following the protest, the international activists will intervene in the company’s annual shareholder meeting, led by Brazil’s award-winning movement Xingu Vivo para Sempre. The movements` base is the Amazonian city of Altamira, a place currently suffering a myriad of impacts from the construction of the Belo Monte mega-dam.
In their interventions NGO spokespeople will ask Siemens shareholders to deny the ratification of the acts of members of the Managing and the Supervisory Board, citing the unacceptable socio-environmental problems and violations of human rights provoked by projects to the company supplies key hardware. Siemens supplies turbines and electromechanical equipment to the consortium building Belo Monte, the world’s third largest dam on the Amazon’s Xingu River. Furthermore its global portfolio includes the Honduran dam Agua Zarca and many other socially and environmentally harmful enterprises.
*About the projects*
Party to a consortium that includes French Alstom and Austrian Andritz, Siemens' joint venture VoithHydro signed a € 500 million contract in 2011 to supply turbines Brazil’s dam-building consortium Norte Energia, responsible for Belo Monte. The companies have rejected claims that the project’s questionable legality and drastic socio-environmental impacts are in any way linked to their role in furnishing hardware key to the dam’s construction.
In Honduras Voith Hydro is participating in the 22 MW Agua Zarca dam by supplying turbines. The construction deprives local indigenous communities of access to the vital river and to communal subsistence lands. Indigenous opponents to the dam are terrorized by private security, police and military forces; the latter already killed a local leader.
With regard to the departure of four members of the Managing Board within one fiscal year, Markus Dufner, secretary of the Association of Ethical Shareholders in Cologne argues: “It is an unusual occurrence which raises many questions as regards the Supervisory Board’s competence when it comes to recruiting executives. Also the numerous incorrect strategic decisions taken by the Managing Board are ultimately the responsibility of the Supervisory Board of Siemens AG. It has failed in its duty to monitor and advise the Managing Board in the conduct of business,” Dufner concludes.
Contacts for journalists:
The mobilization is supported by:
Xingu Vivo para Sempre, Amazon Watch, International Rivers, ProREGENWALD, KoBra, FDCL, ASW, CounterCurrent, Association of Ethical Shareholders, urgewald, HondurasDelegation, Ökumenisches Büro für Frieden und Gerechtigkeit, Brasilieninitiative Freiburg, Regenwald-Institut, Rettet den Regenwald, Campo Limpo, INFOE, CADEHO, Planète Amazone