Eye on the Amazon: The Official Blog of Amazon Watch
June 28, 2012 | Andrew Miller
Take Action Now!
Support the indigenous peoples of the Xingu and social movement leaders in the fight for the right to a healthy environment!
Imagine that your livelihood, your community, and your entire culture are facing imminent destruction. The world's largest dam currently under construction is in the process of decimating the magnificent river on which your people have depended from time immemorial. International bodies have repeatedly sounded the alarm about how your rights are at grave risk, yet the project advances with the force of a thousand bulldozers.
June 27, 2012 | Atossa Soltani
I wanted to share this urgent update about the escalating resistance to the destructive Belo Monte dam complex in the Brazilian Amazon. Please take a moment to read this update and support the indigenous and riverbank communities of the Xingu!
June 23, 2012 | Darrin Mortenson
After more than a week of peaceful protests, indigenous Quechua residents of the Pastaza River basin finally pushed the Peruvian government to launch a high-level investigation of foreign oil companies operating in Peru's northern Amazon region of Loreto.
Delicately trying to avoid more of the scrutiny and criticism earned by its violent handling of recent protests over mining projects elsewhere in Peru, President Ollanta Humala's Administration quickly dispatched top officials to the Pastaza, including the national minster for the environment, Manuel Pulgar Vidal, and other top staff.
The Pastaza standoff ended peacefully early this week with a written commitment by the government to immediately form a multi-sector commission to investigate oil contamination in Loreto and a promise to launch a comprehensive health program in the mostly indigenous communities of the Pastaza, Corrientes, Marañon and Tigre river basins within a month.
June 20, 2012 | Caroline Bennett
Images by Caroline Bennett
Nearly 1500 people used Rio's Flamengo Beach as a canvas on June 19th, 2012. Their bodies formed the lines of an enormous image promoting the importance of free-running rivers, truly clean energy sources like solar power and including indigenous knowledge as part of the solution to climate issues. The activity was led by Brazil's many indigenous peoples organized under the umbrella of the Articulation of Brazilian Indigenous Peoples.
June 15, 2012 | Atossa Soltani
Seeing the majestic Xingu River being dammed is heartbreaking;
this morning, there was hope.
Today's daring grassroots action to "free the Xingu" was one of the most inspirational acts of resistance I have witnessed in 15 years as Amazon Watch Executive Director.
As I photographed overhead from a helicopter, hundreds of people used their bodies to spell out what they have demanded for decades: Stop Belo Monte.
I was overwhelmed by the symbolism. Protesters dug a channel through the earthen coffer dam, restoring the flow and "freeing" the mighty Xingu. They erected crosses in honor of hundreds of people murdered for defending the Amazon, yet there they were standing up for their river and their people.
As long as they resist, we will continue to stand by them. Already over a million people around the globe have rallied behind this effort. Can the defenders of the Xingu count on you, too?