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
In February, a group of locals who opposed the project asked Pará authorities to suspend the recently issued construction licence for Volta Grande. They oppose the company’s planned use of cyanide during extraction of the precious metal, arguing that waste will be deposited in a dam located just 1.5 km from the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon, which poses risks in case of a dam collapse as it happened in 2015, after the Samarco dam burst in the south-eastern state of Minas Gerais, which killed 19 people and polluted water streams.
"Either Belo Sun throws us out of here or we throw them out."
On the banks of Brazil's lower Xingu River, a toxic controversy looms large, threatening to heap insult upon the grievous injuries of the nearby Belo Monte hydroelectric dam. Belo Sun would become Brazil's largest open-pit gold mine, straddling the territories of three indigenous peoples and other traditional communities that are already reeling from the many social and environmental impacts of Belo Monte.
The Volta Grande project on the Xingu River is destined to be Brazil's largest open-pit gold mine. But activists fear the environmental impact on indigenous communities.April 3, 2017Univisión
According to Christian Poirier of Amazon Watch, "there is no plan for the removal of the mine waste – it's a ticking time bomb."
Brazil is handing over the Amazon rainforest to mining companies and big agricultureMarch 21, 2017VICE News
"You cannot deny land to indigenous people that are ancestrally attached to it and expect them to continue to exist as a culture," said Christian Poirier, program director at Amazon Watch.
Brazil's current economic and political shifts and its effort to attract Chinese investment are part of a concerted effort by the Brazilian government to industrialize vast sections of the Amazon, with grave ramifications for the forests, rivers, and peoples who help sustain this irreplaceable biome for the benefit of humanity.
Today is International Day of Action for Rivers, and what better way to commemorate it than watching the award-winning documentary film, Belo Monte: After the Flood!
Ecuador's incoming President must review the oil deals harming the country's economy and ecologyMarch 7, 2017China Dialogue
Meeting contractual loan payments with oil is a major driver behind Ecuador's effort to open up new, pristine Amazon indigenous rainforest territory to oil drilling. All this new drilling has led to massive impacts in the Amazon rainforest that have been dire both for its world-renowned biodiversity and its indigenous peoples.
Parade's message angered agri-business lobby, but provided an important opportunity for participants to highlight the importance of indigenous rights and environmental protectionFebruary 28, 2017
In a colorful and highly energized samba parade at Rio de Janeiro's world-famous Carnival on Monday morning, Imperatriz Leopoldinense, one of Brazil's most traditional and respected samba schools, paid a special tribute to indigenous peoples of the Amazon's Xingu River, highlighting threats to their territories, livelihoods and rights.
What's behind the Rural Coalition attack on the Imperatriz Leopoldinense samba school? Rio's Carnival has attracted the kind of hatred indigenous people have known for decades.February 22, 2017Latin America Bureau
Imperatriz Leopoldinense probably had no idea where it would lead them when they chose to speak out about the Xingu, but they chose the right path. Because today, to defend the Brazilian Indian is to defend the future of our country.