From the Xingu Alive Forever Movement: a letter of denouncement and indignation against the approval of the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Dam's provisional license.

This letter was issued by the civil society organization Xingu Alive Forever Movement (Movimento Xingu Vivo Para Sempre) strongly denouncing the approval of the provisional license for the Belo Monte mega-dam on the Xingu River. The decision to push ahead with this project in spite of its many uncertainties has inspired outrage in Brazil and internationally.

We, the Xingu Alive Forever Movement, strongly express our outrage and opposition to the release of the Belo Monte dam's provisional license. We denounce the indifference of government agencies that have approved the construction of this hydroelectric plant. These agencies are required to comply with the democratic laws that govern this country, laws that protect the fundamental rights of its citizens. On February 1st, those who in theory represent us signed a provisional license for the construction of the Belo Monte dam and in doing so have compromised the future not only of local peoples but the region's greatest asset, the Xingu River.

We, who live on Amazonian land by the Xingu river banks and her tributaries, who live on extractive reserves and Indigenous territories, who are of the rural areas and cities of this region, have built our lives on the Xingu river through decades of love, sweat and dedication. The river is the heart of our land and our people. Our lives are organized around this river, which has always been our source of life and at many times our only link to surrounding communities. It is the main path to our lands, our schools, our cemeteries and our sacred sites. The river is our gate to the rest of the world. We, who have a relationship of love and deep respect for the river, for its life and its people, will not sit back and watch while those in Brasilia attempt to determine our future without our consultation, without hearing us, without respecting us and, for some, without ever having set foot on our lands.

We question the actions of environmental government agencies involved in the course of this process. We denounce the haste that has marked many of the environmental licensing stages of the Belo Monte dam, and condemn the lack of transparency in the omission of several documents which by law should have been made available to the public via the IBAMA website. We state once again that we were not properly consulted nor heard during the licensing process, despite the requirement for additional public hearings, particularly with various impacted Indigenous organizations. And we are extremely concerned about the irresponsibility of those who have approved the provisional license: is it possible that the serious flaws identified by the team of analysts in the conclusions of IBAMA's "Technical Recommendation" document 114/2009 on November 23, 2009, were fully resolved in just two months so that this same agency was able to attest to the viability of the dam's construction as early as February 1st, 2010?

We will not passively watch our territory, our land, and our homes become an enormous construction site for a hydroelectric dam that will not produce 11,000 megawatts of energy, but an average of only 4,000mw! It will not produce cheap energy, considering that energy tariffs in ParĂ¡ State are the highest in the country! And it will certainly not produce clean energy nor energy for local consumption! Here we will forever experience irreversible socio-environmental damage. Neither the Xingu River nor our lives are for sale. Therefore we will not accept the construction of a dam that will solely benefit the interests of capital: large contractors, mining interests, and national and international steel industries.

We are a combative people and have resisted this project for twenty years. Know that our battle continues and the alliance between communities of this region strengthens with each new challenge, and that our cause gains new allies each day building momentum that knows no boundaries.

With this we affirm that if the Belo Monte is built, the disastrous consequences and immoral acts that arise from this project will be credited to all those who, in defiance of the peoples of the Xingu Basin, knowingly support this tragedy.

The Xingu River Alive Forever!

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