Eye on the Amazon: The Official Blog of Amazon Watch

Voices of the Xingu

August 7, 2013

Justice Now!

Join the worldwide chorus calling for justice by urging Brazil's Supreme Court to rule on lawsuits against the Belo Monte Dam!

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Since late June protests across Brazil have not stopped. Over 3,000 people in the city of Altamira joined the demonstrations calling for Justice Now! and a halt to construction of the Belo Monte dam on the Xingu River. But their voices continue to be silenced and ignored by the Brazilian government and dam-builders Norte Energia.

It's time that the voices of the Xingu are heard! Watch and share Voices of the Xingu today!

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Belo Monte Risks Paralyzation Over Consortium’s Grave Negligence

August 2, 2013 | Christian Poirier

The Xingu River after being dammed

Peace and Respect
in the Amazon!

Urge President Dilma to find a peaceful solution to the Belo Monte conflict and respect indigenous rights!

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Last week the Brazilian Federal Environmental Agency IBAMA released a report documenting the grave extent to which the Belo Monte dam-building consortium Norte Energia has neglected its legally mandated responsibility to mitigate the mega-dam's myriad socio-environmental impacts. By disregarding a series of "conditionalities" upon which the project's environmental license was granted, Norte Energia could be sanctioned by the institution, forcing the dam's construction to again grind to a halt.

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Amazon Justice: Sarayaku's Historic Week

August 1, 2013 | Kevin Koenig

Canoes converging on the Bobonaza River

Just past dawn, the cacophony of forest sounds that electrifies the Amazonian night slowly gave way to the eerie silence of morning, broken only by scattered rooster crows and the din of a small Cessna plane crossing high overhead. Canoes were being ferreted from up and down the Bobonaza River, converging on the riverbanks in Sarayaku. In what is a morning ritual, motoristas, or canoe drivers, scooped out the sloshing water, brown with sediment, from the bottom of the canoes, in anticipation of a long day's river journey. Families and leaders packed bags, with extra clothes for the cool Andean air, feather headdresses, necklaces of wairuru seed and snake vertebrae, and the all important huito, a fruit that when cooked, is used as elaborate black face paint for important events. The seven kurakas (community leaders) carried their carved staves in hand and congregated on the riverbanks before climbing aboard the canoes. It was an honor to witness this preparation first-hand, as I accompanied a delegation on an Amazon Journey to Sarayaku.

It was Tuesday, July 23, and some 80 Kichwa indigenous people from Sarayaku were preparing to travel to Quito – the distant capital city and center of power. Since time immemorial, Ecuadorian governments have routinely made decisions there about the use and development of indigenous Amazonian lands without the consent, or even consultation, of local communities.

Sarayaku was mobilizing to mark the anniversary of their victory at the Inter-American Human Rights Court, and to press for government compliance with the judgment. In 2012, after nine years of litigation, the Court found the Ecuadorian state guilty of rights violations when it authorized oil activities and the militarization of Sarayaku lands without consulting the community. The decision included the most detailed and binding language to date on the right to consultation for indigenous people. The Court gave the Ecuadorian government a one-year timeframe to implement various measures included in its sentence, which was set to expire Thursday, July 25th at 5:00pm.

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From Brazil, European Greens Condemn Belo Monte

July 30, 2013 | Christian Poirier

The Xingu River after being dammed

Peace and Respect
in the Amazon!

Urge President Dilma to find a peaceful solution to the Belo Monte conflict and respect indigenous rights!

TAKE ACTION

Traveling from the EU Parliament in Brussels to the heart of the Amazon, deputies from Europe's Green Party immersed themselves in the toxic reality of the Brazilian government's misguided development model, and the role of European corporate profiteers abetting this model, that is exemplified by the Belo Monte dam and its devastating socio-environmental impacts upon the people of the Xingu River. After hearing about the flagrant human rights abuses and environmental destruction provoked by Belo Monte from members of the Xingu Alive Forever Movement (MXVPS) and Brazil's Federal Public Ministry (MPF) last April, Catherine Grèze and Eva Joly of France and Ulrike Lunacek of Austria traveled to Brazil to gain first-hand knowledge of the disaster unfolding in the Amazon.

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Ecuador Forced to Delay Oil Round; Now Let's Make Them Cancel It!

July 22, 2013 | Adam Zuckerman

Photo Credit: Joke Baert/Fundación Pachamama

Don't Drill the Amazon –
Defend It!

Please urge the Ecuadorian government to respect indigenous rights and the rights of nature by not drilling in the southern Amazon.

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It looks like the on-the-ground protests and international pressure on the Ecuadorian government worked! Just minutes before Tuesday's press conference where government officials were due to announce all the oil companies that submitted bids on their XI Round Amazonian oil auction, they extended the deadline for bids until November 28th, exactly a year after the auction began. It seems that not enough companies submitted bids on Ecuador's last remaining tract of virgin rainforest, an area that is home to seven indigenous nationalities.

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