More About Xingu
For hundreds of years, the Xingu River basin has been home to a cross-section of Brazilian life, made up of rural and urban communities. The region reveals a diverse conglomeration of people, with varying levels of multilingualism and acculturation to the Brazilian mainstream. More
With Belo Monte's criminal irregularities in the spotlight, one would think the Brazilian government would lay low – perhaps even learn from the current crisis! Unfortunately we I was seeing the opposite here on the jungle jet and throughout the nation.
Last Sunday millions of citizens in dozens of cities throughout Brazil took to the streets to protests rampant corruption, erroneous economic policies and rollbacks of social benefits. Protestors called for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, claiming government mismanagement and a possible direct link between the president and an unprecedented corruption scandal centered around Petrobras.
The relative success of direct action in recent decades contrasts with the often bloody encounters that went before, from which poorly-armed Indians invariably emerged badly.
The Munduruku Protocol on consultation procedures, published couple of weeks ago and presented to the Brazilian government, is the first protocol of a consultation process proposed by an indigenous nation that I have ever seen. It is very well written, closely following international and national law.
It's carnival time in Brazil, but for people of the Xingu there is no time to celebrate. Three years after construction initiated on Belo Monte dam, the consortium used the distraction of carnival to request an Operating License.
The battle against Belo Monte is far from over, as last week's protests illustrate. Many lessons have been learned, steeling resistance and resilience for the coming clash over the government's plans to wreck the spectacular Tapajós.
As 2015 kicks off, it's important to reach out to our supporters and followers and to take a moment to assess our work last year and take a peek at the year to come.
Felipe Jacome's set of photos Amazon: Guardians of Life documents the struggles of indigenous women defending the Ecuadoran Amazon through portraits combined with the powerful written testimonies.
Since the construction of the Belo Monte dam began, the city of Altamira has been in a state of "complete chaos in all social and public policy areas, especially health, public safety, and housing," says Antonia Melo, leader of the movement Xingu Alive Forever. "There has been rampant population growth as well as rises in drug abuse and child prostitution, among other forms of violence."
There is an urgent need to, as another Brazilian energy expert has said, ‘open up and manage a debate on the country’s energy path’, including the future contribution of hydropower. A more open and transparent decision-making process with robust, independent review would increase the political legitimacy of decisions.