Your Actions Make the Difference for the Xingu and Its People

Occupying the Belo Monte dam construction site

Greetings Friends,

I am writing on behalf of the magical and mystical Amazon rainforest and the traditional populations that inhabit its sacred places.

Last year you followed our battles and supported us by signing petitions, protesting, sharing messages and by donating. YOUR actions make the difference!

Right now, traditional populations throughout the Amazon are living in a critical moment. We have never seeing so much "D": Disregard, Disrespect, and Destruction. Along the way many people give up when the battle seems lost, or they think that signing a petition or donating few dollars won't change anything. To those people I say: The fight for justice and a fair planet never ends just because a battle was lost. We will always have time to do better, and your actions make the difference!

In the collective campaign to Stop the Belo Monte Dam over the past two years, we have collected 3.5 million signatures through various petitions all over the world. With that came media attention, meetings with governments, and even a few changes in the course of history. Because of your support and pressure, communities are expected to meet with the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) this month and potentially with the Brazilian Supreme Court next month! It gives me hope to remember that the Supreme Court still holds the ability to STOP construction of the Belo Monte dam and uphold the law.

Beyond all that, we've witnessed communities growing stronger – feeling embraced and supported- and construction being delayed. Your financial support helps us get to the Amazon and on the frontlines beyond online campaigning. We dedicate time to build capacity via advocacy, media and legal trainings...and sometimes we just listen and provide a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes our friends who are living in such daily trauma, losing culture, history, their sense of union and community just need us to "be there" for them.

The work of Amazon Watch also helps to set precedents for future cases and it's a bridge to creating a new energy policy that can be truly clean and sustainable, because the struggle against Belo Monte is not only a fight against this dam or for the people of the Xingu. It is a fight for nature, for the sacred waters of all rivers, for life, culture, and history of traditional people. The issue of dams in the Amazon is broad and involves all of Brazil and ALL of the Amazon.

2013 begins with a new perspective, because we don't want to write a history where the rainforest and its peoples are only alive in fairy tales and songs. There are thousands of "development" projects designed to destroy the Amazon, its rivers and its peoples who have long been the guardians of the forest that serves all of us. Now you have a chance to make an important decision: You can choose to "be the change you want to see in the world" and to be part of this new era that will rewrite the Amazon rainforest's history.

You can still sign the petition for Justice Now here (or in Portuguese here) and upload your picture showing your concerns by using Instagram (type #belomontejusticenow in the comment section or email it to justicenowphotos@gmail.com). And please consider making a monthly donation of whatever you can chip in.

Let your voice be heard for Justice in the Amazon!

I am here to tell you that I won't give up, and I invite you to join me. I know that together our work gets us closer to being part of this new era of making the planet a better place. In my heart lives gratitude for your support, and for Mother Nature. I will always remember the Xingu as it was when I first saw it: Sacred, beautiful, and free!

It's raining in the Xingu right now, and I hope you can feel embraced by the blessing of water that falls from the sky thanking you for being you: Another magic drop!

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