The Belo Monte Dam would divert the flow of the Xingu River: http://www.internationalri
and devastate an extensive area of the Brazilian rainforest, displacing over 20,000 people and threatening the survival of indigenous peoples.
The most controversial dam project facing Brazil today, Belo Monte is a struggle about the future of Amazonia.
The Brazilian government has plans to build more than 100 large dams in the Amazon Basin over the next 20 years.
Many Brazilians believe that if Belo Monte is approved, it will represent a carte blanche for the destruction of all the magnificent rivers of the Amazon - next the Tapajos, the Teles Pires, then the Araguia-Tocantins, and so on.
_The Amazon will become an endless series of lifeless reservoirs, its life drained away by giant walls of concrete and steel.
The Brazilian government is pushing through plans to build the massive Belo Monte Dam in the Amazon. The dam would devastate an extensive area of the Amazon rainforest and threaten the survival of thousands of indigenous and traditional peoples who depend on the Xingu River for their livelihoods. Construction could begin this year.
The project has met with massive opposition both domestically and internationally. Indigenous people have not been adequately consulted about the project and are concerned that their rights will be violated if the project goes forward as planned. The project will directly affect two indigenous reserves along the Big Bend of the Xingu, and will indirectly affect indigenous reserves throughout the Xingu Basin.
___Please contact the Brazilian Embassy today and express your concern about the government’s support for the Belo Monte Dam and its impact on indigenous people.
___First, please call the Embassy, then fill out the form below to send an email to the US Embassy.
*** If you are in the US, please call (202) 238-2805 and/or (202) 238-2712.
*** If you are outside the US, please use this website to find your nearest embassy:
A LETTER TO SEND:
Subj: Support Indigenous Rights, Cancel Belo Monte Dam
Dear Ambassador Vieira,
I am writing to you to register my concern and ask your government to cancel the proposed Belo Monte Dam.
I am concerned about the blatant violations of indigenous peoples’ rights and the severe impacts to the Xingu River that would occur if Belo Monte Dam is built.
President Lula should cancel Belo Monte Dam and seek better alternatives for meeting Brazil's energy needs. I hope you will convey my message to the President and relevant members of the government.
Following where you live : http://www.embassiesabroad
Just change the Ambassador name, if you don't find the name : Dear Sirs is OK .
+ Automatic letter to send to :
Consular Service, Brazil
1030 15th Street, N.W.
1025 Thomas Jefferson St, NW, Suíte 300W (3rd floor)
Washington, DC 20007
__Environment Office, Brazilian Embassy, US
__Economic and Financial Policy Affairs, Brazilian Embassy, US
__Human Rights Office, Brazilian Embassy, US
* HERE : http://salsa.democracyinac
When you call, please tell them:
1. That you are concerned about blatant violations of indigenous peoples’ rights that would occur if Belo Monte Dam was built;
2. That you are concerned about the project’s impacts on the Xingu River and the life it supports; and
3. That you would like President Lula to cancel Belo Monte Dam and seek better alternatives for meeting Brazil's energy needs.
Find more background information about Belo Monte Dam here :
*** Very important PLS READ :
The Indigenous Declaration After the Belo Monte Dam Auction
We, the indigenous people of the Xingú, do not want Belo Monte
We, the indigenous people of the Xingú, are here fighting for our people, for our lands, but we're also fighting for the future of the world. President Lula said last week that he was worried for indigenous people and worried about the Amazon, and that he does not want international NGOs to speak against Belo Monte. We are not international NGOs.
We, 62 indigenous leaders from the villages Bacajá, Mrotidjam, Kararaô, Terra-Wanga, Boa Vista Km 17, Tukamã, Kapoto, Moikarako, Aykre, Kiketrum, Potikro, Tukaia, Mentutire, Omekrankum, Cakamkubem and Pokaimone, have already suffered many invasions and threats. When the Portuguese came to Brazil, we indigenous people were already here, and many died, many lost their enormous vast territories, we lost many of the rights that we had, many lost parts of their culture, and other tribes disappeared completely. The forest is our butcher shop, the river is our market. We do not want the rivers of the Xingú to be invaded, and our villages and children to be threatened, children who will grow with our culture.
We do not accept the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam because we understand that it will bring more destruction to our region. We are not thinking only about the locale where they want to construct the dam, but about all of the destruction the dam will bring in the future: more corporations, more ranches, more land invasions, more conflicts, and even more dams. If the white man continues to carry on like this, everything will be destroyed very quickly. We ask ourselves: what else does the government want? What good is more energy after so much destruction?
We have already held many reunions and large meetings against Belo Monte, such as in 1989 and 2008 in Altamira, Pará, and in 2009 in the village Piaraçu, in which many of our leaders were present. We have already spoken personally with President Lula and told him that we do not want this dam, and he promised us that this dam would not be shoved down our throats. We have also already spoken with Eletronorte and Eletrobrás, with Funai, and with Ibama. We already warned the government that if Belo Monte were built, they would have war on their hands. The government did not understand our message and challenged indigenous people once more, saying that they are going to build the dam at any cost. When President Lula said this, he demonstrated that he is not concerned with what indigenous people say, and that he does not know our rights. His lack of respect led him to schedule the auction for Belo Monte during indigenous peoples' week.
Because of this, we indigenous people of the Xingú region invite James Cameron and his team, representatives of the Movimento Xingu Vivo para Sempre (such as the women's movement, ISA and CIMI, Amazon Watch and other organizations). We want them to help us carry our message to the entire world and to the Brazilians who do not yet know what is happening on the Xingú. We have invited them because we see that many people from across Brazil and many foreigners want to help protect indigenous people and the territories of our people. Those who do this are very welcome among us.
We are here fighting for our people, for our lands, for our forests, for our rivers, for our children and in the honor of our ancestors. We fight also for the future of the world, because we know that these forests bring benefits not only to indigenous people but to the people of Brazil and to the entire world. We also know that without these forests, many people will suffer, even more than they have already suffered from the destruction that has taken place in the past. All life is connected, like the blood that unites a family.
The world must know what is happening here, they must perceive how destroying forests and indigenous people destroys the entire world. Because of this we do not want Belo Monte. Belo Monte represents the destruction of our people.
To close, we proclaim that we are ready, we are strong, we are willing to fight, and we remember the words of a letter from an indigenous Native American relative sent to the President years ago: "Only when the white man destroys the entire forest, when he kills all the fish, when he kills all the animals, and when he finishes off all the rivers, will he perceive that nobody is capable of eating money."
Author(s): Cacique Bet Kamati Kayapó, Cacique Raoni Kayapó and Yakareti Juruna
Originally published in Valor Econômico - 20 April, 2010
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