Outspoken Critic of the Belo Monte Dam in Brazil, Bishop Erwin Kräutler Receives "Right Livelihood Award" for a Lifetime of Defending the Amazon Rainforest and Indigenous Peoples

Xingu River Forever Alive Movement (MXVS), International Waters, Amazon Watch

For more information, contact:

Paul Paz y Miño, +1.510.281.9020 x302 or paz@amazonwatch.org


Belem, Brazil – International Rivers, Amazon Watch and the Movimento Xingu Vivo para Sempre celebrate the news that Bishop Erwin Kräutler will be one of four recipients of this year's Right Livelihood Award, often referred to as the "Alternative Nobel Prize." Bishop Kräutler has been an unwavering ally of indigenous peoples and social movements opposed to Brazil's Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River for over two decades. He is being honored at an awards ceremony at the Swedish Parliament today "for a lifetime of work for the human and environmental rights of indigenous peoples and for his tireless efforts to save the Amazon forest from destruction."

Antônia Melo, coordinator of the Movimento Xingu Vivo para Sempre, will accompany Don Erwin at the ceremony where both will speak about the Lula government's latest attempts to initiate the devastating dam project at any moment, in blatant violation of human rights and environmental legislation, and the movement's actions to defend the Xingu river and its people.

Erwin Kräutler, the Bishop of Xingu and the President of the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) of the Catholic Church in Brazil, is one of Brazil's most important defenders of and advocates for the rights of indigenous peoples. Kräutler, who is motivated by liberation theology, is known for helping secure the inclusion of indigenous peoples' rights into the Brazilian constitution. Since the 1980s, he has served an important role in the movement to stop the Belo Monte Dam, one of South America's most destructive energy projects.

The 31st Right Livelihood Award Ceremony will take place in the Swedish Parliament on December 6 at 6pm CET. A press conference with the 2010 Laureates will be held earlier that day at 9:30am CET at the International Press Center of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stockholm. A live broadcast of the ceremony will be available on the Right Livelihood Awards website. Click here for more information, including the complete program of activities.

Amazon Watch, Movimento Xingu Vivo para Sempre and International Rivers extend our warm congratulations to Don Erwin for this deserved honor. The award brings a much needed media spotlight to the growing resistance by local indigenous and riverbank communities to the controversial Belo Monte Dam complex during this critical time in the campaign.

Quotation:

"I'm convinced that another world is possible, in which indigenous and poor people finally shall live in dignity and peace." – Bishop Erwin Kräutler

Click here for a profile on Bishop Erwin Kräutler.

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