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Amazon tribe would rather die than see their land destroyed by a new damMay 26, 2015Al Jazeera America
Environmental activists hope that São Luiz do Tapajós will not follow the same course as the Belo Monte, the Xingu River dam that is now nearly complete. Some tribal leaders opposed to that dam were bought off by the government, according to Maíra Irigaray, the Brazil coordinator of the group Amazon Watch. She fears similar tactics will be used here. "Leaders were paid off with boats, cars, cash and bodyguards," she said. "If the leaders took the money, the government won. If the leaders didn’t take the money, [contractors and others involved in dam construction] would spread lies and still manage to break their trust with the community."
The Munduruku, Apiaká, Kayabi and Rikbaktsa release joint statement as Brazil steps ups efforts to exploit power of the riversApril 30, 2015The Guardian
Four Amazonian tribes have joined forces to oppose the construction of hydroelectric dams in their territory as the Brazilian government ramps up efforts to exploit the power of rivers in the world's biggest forest.
Last week, the Munduruku people gathered more than 600 people in their General Assembly to discuss questions related to health, education, and the hydroelectric projects that the Brazilian federal government seeks to build on lands inhabited by more than 10,000 indigenous people.
In Brazil water and electricity go together, and two years of scant rainfall have left tens of millions of people on the verge of water and power rationing, boosting arguments for the need to fight deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.
Without water to feed its hydroelectric dams, drought-hit Brazil is turning to solar power - dubbed "a fantasy" by the country's president just a few years ago. Now thousands of megawatts of floating solar panel "islands" are to be installed on dam reservoirs.April 6, 2015The Ecologist
Brazil's devastating drought could have the unexpected consequence of finally prompting one of the sunniest countries in the world to take solar power seriously.
With little or no help from the state, this is not the first time that the Tapajós ribeirinhos have faced a threat to their land and their way of life from projects coming from Brasília.
"There is basically a climate of impunity," says Christian Poirer of Amazon Watch. "Only one percent of the fines that IBAMA levels on individuals and corporations for illegal deforestation are actually collected." This agency, which is responsible for implementing Brazil's environmental laws, is, he says, "woefully underfunded and understaffed."
Declaration of the Xingu Alive Forever MovementApril 16, 2014Xingu Vivo
Belo Monte has not killed the resistance. Its cement has not blinded all people’s eyes, nor has its money bought all consciences. Its repression has not deadened courage or silenced mouths; its lies have not deafened all ears.
Brazilian high court demands new environmental study, threatening to paralyze mega-damApril 1, 2014Xingu Vivo
Judge José Batista heavily criticized Belo Monte, affirming, "The only concern [in this project] was economic, with a small amount of environmental [concern] and no social concern, especially in regards to indigenous peoples."
In recent months, Bolivia's Amazonian region has experienced the most disastrous flooding of the past 100 years. In the past weeks, attention has focused on the role played by two recently-inaugurated Brazilian mega-dams – the Jirau and the San Antonio – in Bolivia's floods.