Freeing the Xingu | Amazon Watch
Amazon Watch

Freeing the Xingu

June 15, 2012 | Atossa Soltani | Eye on the Amazon

Freeing the Xingu

Seeing the majestic Xingu River being dammed is heartbreaking;
this morning, there was hope.

Today’s daring grassroots action to “free the Xingu” was one of the most inspirational acts of resistance I have witnessed in 15 years as Amazon Watch Executive Director.

As I photographed overhead from a helicopter, hundreds of people used their bodies to spell out what they have demanded for decades: Stop Belo Monte.

I was overwhelmed by the symbolism. Protesters dug a channel through the earthen coffer dam, restoring the flow and “freeing” the mighty Xingu. They erected crosses in honor of hundreds of people murdered for defending the Amazon, yet there they were standing up for their river and their people.

As long as they resist, we will continue to stand by them. Already over a million people around the globe have rallied behind this effort. Can the defenders of the Xingu count on you, too?

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