The sign is clear on the whitewashed walls of the cemetery of the village of Luz, about to be submerged as a result of Portugal’s new Alqueva dam project: “There are no conditions. We shall not be moved!”
The village of Luz is supposed to be moved to the newly-built village in July, as the waters of the new dam keep on rising. The bone of contention now is what happens to those buried in the cemetery. The 250 graves will have to be dug up and the bodies reburied in a new cemetery in the new village.
This is the beginning of the end of centuries of history for Luz, a small village in south-eastern Portugal and the beginning of a nightmare for the residents, whose families are buried in the cemetery. All for the sake of progress.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969