Sheyla Juruna's Speech at Our Annual Luncheon
September 27, 2011 | Sheyla Juruna
The Xingu needs support. Can I count on you?Sheyla Juruna
As Sheyla Juruna, indigenous woman warrior from the Xingu River Basin of the Brazilian Amazon, addressed Amazon Watch's supporters at our 15 year anniversary luncheon on Tuesday, you could hear a pin drop. With passion in her voice and love in her heart, she expressed the urgency to stop the dam for the future of her children, our children and all future generations. She reminded us that the struggle to defend the Xingu is not an isolated struggle. It is a struggle to defend the Amazon and our entire planet from unchecked and unsustainable "development" that will decimate indigenous peoples, the true stewards of the Amazon, unless we stop it. To truly understand the urgency, read Sheyla's speech:
Good afternoon to everyone.
First of all, I would like to thank Amazon Watch for the opportunity they are giving me to share the reality of the indigenous peoples living in the Brazilian Amazon.
I come from a region rich in biodiversity, bathed by the country's most important river, the Xingu river, that has its banks protected by the forest and by 25 distinct indigenous ethnic groups that live throughout its basin. Now, all of this is threatened by the "project of death" imposed by Brazilian Federal Government that is the Belo Monte Dam.
We've been fighting against this project for more than 20 years. It is already causing disastrous environmental impacts, land conflicts, and has provoked death threats of indigenous leaders. Amid this crisis, the government is determined to move forward with its decision and they are not open to dialogue with affected communities.
However, we do not consider Belo Monte a fait accompli. For this reason, all that remains to us is to make a last stand, so that we can defeat this monster, and for this struggle we need your help. Can I count on you? I hope so.
I would like to ask you to follow our day to day cause by following Amazon Watch's work to support us. Even though you can't be physically present in the Amazon, if you can contribute to this struggle, for the life of our future generations, and for the life of the planet, you will show that we are together in this, and that we will win this battle.
I want you to know that our fight against Belo Monte is a struggle that has the goal of preserving the life of the forest and the life of the people that rely on the forest for their survival, trying to show the world that there are another ways of generating energy that are truly sustainable.
If the Amazon rainforest dies then we will all go with it, because the planet is also threatened by global warming, climate change, and all those consequences are disastrous for our lives.
I hope I can count on your support, and that any help you give will come from your hearts, your souls, and with love.
To finalize, I want to congratulate Amazon Watch for its 15th anniversary, and say that the work you are doing in the Amazon region is an example for the world to be aware that life is worth more than greed and short term profit of big moneyed interests.
It is nature itself that gives us the strength to resist, to live, and to fight.
The time is now. It is the last stand to defend the Xingu and the Amazon.
Join the Cause and donate to the Xingu Urgent Action Fund today!