Occupy Belo Monte
July 6, 2012
The indigenous-led occupation of Pimental Island on the Xingu River started on July 21st. Steadily-growing groups of indigenous inhabitants of the Xingu are demanding that construction of the Belo Monte dam be halted until the dam-building consortium and the government can put in place effective measures to address the effects of the dam such as loss of fishing and hunting resources, loss of river navigation, and increased incidence of diseases.
More than 300 people from 21 indigenous villages and 9 different ethnicities are represented at the occupation so far. Many tribal elders have expressd outrage seeing how the initial earthen dam is now blocking a large part of the flow of their mighty river. On one side of the coffer dam, the river comes to a sudden halt; on the other side, there is no flow, just pools of stagnant water.