The protest began on June 21st, just a few short days after the Xingu+23 anniversary gathering came to a close. The gathering, which ran parallel to the Rio+20 Summit, marked the first major victory against the Belo Monte Dam in 1989.
Initially the protest was led by a group of about 150 Xikrin Peoples; but after successfully managing to paralyze work at the construction site, the group was joined by representatives from the Juruna, Araweté, Assurini and Parakanã.
According to Amazon Watch, The Xikrin simply “set up a peaceful encampment in the middle of the earthen coffer dam, confiscated keys to various trucks and earth moving equipment and stopped all construction works in the area.”
It’s no permanent solution, but it was more enough to get everybody’s attention. Movimento Xingu Vivo (Xingu Alive Movement) reports that Indigenous representatives from all 34 villages in the middle of Xingu River basin are now expected to join the protest in the coming days.
At the center of the protest is the failure of The Norte Energia consortium (NESA)–the group behind the Belo Dam–to resolve any of the project’s impacts on the Xingu River Basin’s inhabitants. Among the many concerns cited by the indigenous leaders are a decline in fish stocks; a reduction in water quality; an increased risk of negative health impacts like malaria and dengue fever; and a heavy restriction on travel as a result of the dam.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: Hundreds of Indigenous Peoples Occupy Belo Monte Dam Site.