Dam workers attack Enawene Nawe Indians

Enawene Nawe man
Enawene Nawe man
© Fiona Watson/Survival

Hydroelectric dam workers have attacked a group of Enawene Nawe Indians who were fishing near a dam building site last week.
 
Enawene Nawe spokesman Daliamase said the workers made the four Indians, two adults and two children, lie on the ground. They then threatened them, beat them with sticks and forced guns into their mouths.

The workers only released the Indians much later when policemen put an end to the ordeal. The Enawene Nawe children were visibly frightened.
 
A representative from the company building the dam has denied that the workers had acted aggressively, and claimed that the Indians had attempted to enter the site without permission.
 
Over 70 dams are to be built on the River Juruena, which flows through the Enawene Nawe’s land. The dams will pollute the water and stop the fish reaching their spawning grounds. Fish are crucial to the Enawene Nawe’s diet as they do not eat red meat. Fish also play a vital part in the tribe’s rituals.
 
In October, the Enawene Nawe occupied and shut down the same dam site, in an attempt to protect the water and fish they rely on.

Read more about the impact of dams on tribal peoples, in English or in Portuguese.