Indigenous Representatives Call on GE to Save Their Amazon Home

Amazon Watch, Greenpeace

For more information, contact:

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


Munduruku Indigenous leaders participate in General Electric’s (GE) Annual General Meeting in Jacksonville, Florida. Displaying images from their homeland, the Munduruku leaders asked GE to not take part in a controversial mega dam project in the heart of the Amazon. The project is called São Luiz do Tapajós (SLT) and it will drown almost 100,000 acres of pristine rainforest that represent the Munduruku Indigenous People's traditional lands. Photo credit: Fran Ruchalski / Greenpeace

More images available here

Jacksonville, FL – Earlier today, Munduruku Indigenous leaders from the Amazon participated in General Electric's (GE) Annual General Meeting, where they asked the company not to take part in a controversial mega dam project in the heart of the Amazon.

The project is called São Luiz do Tapajós (SLT) and it will drown almost 100,000 acres of pristine rainforest that represent the Munduruku Indigenous People's homeland.

"We journeyed here to speak to the leadership of GE and meet those that would consider profiting off the displacement of thousands of people from our traditional lands against our will, destroying our natural environment. The traditional population uses this territory very well. When we are forced out of our land, we lose our traditional livelihoods", said Jairo Saw Munduruku, a Munduruku chief.

Munduruku representatives made a two-day trip by canoe and plane from their village in the Brazilian forest to meet GE shareholders and leaders gathered in Florida and ask them to disavow from the proposed mega dam.

"São Luiz do Tapajós is a controversial project that would not only have dubious economic benefits but destroy pristine rainforest and violate human rights. The Tapajós mega dam has no place in GE's portfolio and would represent a break from GE's stated commitments to human rights and sustainability. GE should champion real energy solutions – like wind in Brazil," said Daniel Brindis, Senior Forest Campaigner at Greenpeace USA.

SLT has been compared with the infamous Belo Monte mega dam, whose licensing and construction was furthered through corrupt kickback schemes according to official testimonies central to the ongoing historic corruption scandal in Brazil that has provoked the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.

Antonia Melo, the leader of the Brazilian Xingu Vivo Movement, was also present and shared her first hand experience from the Belo Monte project, which set a precedent for SLT. "Belo Monte's proponents repeatedly broke the promises that they made to local communities. The project went on backed by corruption in the government and greed for profits by the companies, bending the laws to their own interests. The Belo Monte disaster could have been prevented - that is why São Luiz do Tapajós must be stopped now," said Melo.

"Brazil's Amazon dams are only possible due to technical support of international hydroelectric turbine suppliers, such as the French company Alstom," said Christian Poirier, Program Director at Amazon Watch. "GE acquired Alstom's turbine division last year, meaning the company now bears direct responsibility for Belo Monte's irreversible impacts. If GE seeks to avoid involvement in future dam disasters, it must steer clear of the Tapajós River."

Note: On April 13th, 2016, Greenpeace issued its Damning the Amazon report, which includes a comprehensive analysis of the private and governmental interests related to São Luiz do Tapajós, as well as it environmental and social impacts for the Amazon and its local communities.
Click here to access the report.

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