En todo Brasil, e incluso en el exterior, están viendo la situación que el Estado de Río de Janeiro enfrenta con las lluvias e inundaciones en las principales ciudades de la región serrana.
Maria Clara Lucchetti Bingemer

Río / Ecología – Tom Jobim cantó y Elis Regina inmortalizó en su voz única el fenómeno de las aguas de marzo que cierran el verano y traen promesa de vida al corazón. Sin embargo, las aguas de enero y febrero (las que a veces comienzan a caer en diciembre) llegan todos los años no como una promesa de vida, sino que como una dura realidad, violenta y dolorosa de muerte, desaparición de gente, desabrigo de centenares de personas y un dejo amargo de tristeza y dolor.

En todo Brasil, e incluso en el exterior, están viendo la situación que el Estado de Río de Janeiro enfrenta con las lluvias e inundaciones en las principales ciudades de la región serrana, construidas para escapar del calor de la gran ciudad: Teresópolis, Petrópolis y Nova Friburgo. Miles de periódicos en todo el país divulgan a cada hora el número de muertos ya encontrados; y éste sobrepasa los ochocientos. Hay centenares de desaparecidos y sus familiares viven la indecible angustia de buscar cuerpos que no se sabe dónde están ni si podrán ser localizados.
 
Junto a eso, la tristeza del desabrigo de quien perdió todo lo que le costó una vida entera construir: una casa, objetos, electrodomésticos. Todo. La imagen de los destrozos de los hogares en las laderas y el desaliento de las personas en los refugios son la propia imagen de la desolación.
 
La sepultura de las víctimas se hace sin velatorio y sus tumbas son improvisadas en los cementerios de las ciudades afectadas, insuficientes para la cantidad de cuerpos a enterrar. El macabro desfile de personas enterrando parientes, uno o más de uno, sigue delante de nuestros ojos perplejos con la devastación que las aguas de enero hicieron y aún amenazan por hacer. Aún sigue la búsqueda de los desaparecidos, pero la lluvia entorpece mucho y retarda el trabajo de la Defensa Civil y de Bomberos.
 
Lo que más choca, sin embargo, es que cuando se reflexiona sobre esa tragedia es que ella viene haciéndose tristemente crónica. Se repite anualmente como una película que se ve una y otra vez. Ya en 1966, en la ciudad de Río de Janeiro, llovieron 245 milímetros en 24 horas y los deslizamientos de tierra en las favelas causaron más de 140 muertes. El entonces gobernador Negrão de Lima fue duramente interpelado por la población, la cual esperó las medidas prometidas en las laderas y los ríos... pero que nunca se tomaron. Después de eso hubo otras, y muchas más otras tragedias como ésa. Pero en los últimos años parece que la cosa viene agravándose. En febrero de 2009, la lluvia había dejado 3.605 desabrigados sólo en el estado de Río. Al inicio del año nuevo de 2010, una tragedia en Angra dos Reis (RJ) dejó muerte y tristeza en cuatro familias. Las pocas personas que se salvaron solamente lo hicieron porque cayeron al mar. Ahora, en enero de 2011, esa tragedia toma la mayor proporción de todas las ya vistas.
 
El gobernador Sérgio Cabral culpó al clima: la intensidad de los temporales, la violencia de las lluvias, etc. Y las personas: a la ocupación irregular e irresponsable de las laderas, en áreas de deslizamiento... Ahora, lo que se sabe, es que la responsabilidad por la ocupación de áreas de riesgo es del gobierno municipal. Sin embargo, al municipio le interesa la recaudación de impuestos y el incremento del turismo. El resultado es que no sólo viviendas populares son construidas en las peligrosas laderas. Posadas, hoteles y condominios de lujo fueron proliferando y multiplicándose a lo largo del tiempo. Las construcciones adelgazan el terreno, eliminando la selva nativa, cuyas raíces ayudan a fijar la tierra. Además de eso, los ríos no dragados rebalsan y provocan catástrofes, como la muerte de la familia entera de Erick de Roble ocurrida en una casa de veraneo en Vale de Cuiabá.
 
El impacto de la tragedia, para los sobrevivientes, va más allá de las pérdidas materiales. Deja profundas heridas psicológicas, difíciles de cicatrizar. En un momento así, la movilización de las comunidades se hace tan importante como el amparo gubernamental. Apoyo psicológico está siendo proporcionado a los afectados. Sin embargo, es de esperarse que finalmente sean tomadas enérgicas medidas de fiscalización en las laderas, desalojando las residencias inviables y dando soporte a las construcciones, para que tragedias como ésta no vuelvan a ocurrir. No es posible que todos los veranos se conviertan en una pesadilla cada vez de peores proporciones, cuando correcciones en las estructuras de las construcciones y medidas preventivas pueden ser tomadas.
 
Que lleguen las aguas de marzo con promesa de vida. Pero que las aguas de enero y febrero nunca más provoquen tantos estragos y cobren tantas vidas humanas como hasta ahora.
_____________
Maria Clara Lucchetti Bingemer. Profesora del Departamento de Teología de UC-Río. Autora de A Argila e o espírito - ensaios sobre ética, mística e poética (Ed. Garamond), entre otros libros (www.users.rdc.puc-rio.br/agape).

 
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