Damn Those Who Celebrate Belo Monte!

A Statement of Protest from Movimento Xingu Vivo para Sempre (Xingu Alive Forever Movement)

Where once the river flowed, fishermen make a boat ladder at the Volta Grande do Xingu. Photo credit: MXPS

Original Portuguese version here

"May the one who comes to inaugurate the last turbine of the dam be cursed. May the pain of Volta Grande keep you up at night, take away your peace and quiet, and may it strip the laughter from your mouth."

The Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, licensed under Lula's government and constructed under Dilma Roussef's and costing nearly 40 billion reals, will be inaugurated this Wednesday, November 27th, 2019, with its final turbine and in the presence of Jair Bolsonaro.

It is symbolic that this particular project, which will always be remembered as the big mistake of the Worker's Party period, is the only heritage that Bolsonaro honors and pays homage to.

At a time when the people of the Xingu agonize over their lack of water, Bolsonaro hails the final turbine of Belo Monte. At a time when the fish of the Xingu River are reduced to skin and spine because there are no more nutrients in the river, Bolsonaro celebrates Belo Monte. When the forest tumbles like it never has before in the areas of Belo Monte, when supporters honor him by setting fires to the forest, Bolsonaro comes to Altamira to enjoy what is an utter disgrace to the actual people of Xingu.

As we denounced before the first tree was toppled by Norte Energía, the dam doesn't work. It does not generate the energy promised because the Xingu River ebbs and flows with the rhythm of its heartbeat, during the Amazonian winters and summers. The small amount of energy from this dam is expensive beyond all measures. And its structure is crooked, unsafe, and threatening. Recently its own builders even had to flee.

Belo Monte, as expected, is killing the Volta Grande of Xingu, and every new turbine requires more and more water for it, further endangering the river and its people. How could one mere engineering site have such absolute power over life and death at the base of the Xingu? How can it?

From Belo Monte, violence has surged over Altamira, cruelty has surged, the trivialization of death, sadness, depression, and despair has taken over. Médio Xingu has turned into a thick soup concentrated in pain, with the proliferation of foulness that comes from trafficking, from deforesters and their gunmen, from illegal loggers, from land grabbers and arsonists. This is what Bolsonaro is coming to celebrate this Wednesday, November 27th, in Belo Monte.

Damn you all! May those who commemorate Belo Monte be cursed. May the one who comes to inaugurate the last turbine of the dam be cursed. May the pain of Volta Grande keep you up at night, take away your peace and quiet, and may it strip the laughter from your mouth. May all of the violence against the Xingu people come to haunt you one day. Damn you all!

As for us, we will continue honoring the river and its delights. We will come to the streets to celebrate the rain that falls, we will look at the sun as it sets, and we will remember that what was, could be again. We declare that we refuse to die, and we will not let the river nor its people die. Our heart carries the Xingu, alive forever!

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