Worldwide protests against Amazon mega-dam 22 August 2011

Brazilians protest against Belo Monte dam in the Amazonian city of Belém
Brazilians protest against Belo Monte dam in the Amazonian city of Belém
© Sue Cunningham

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in dozens of cities worldwide, to protest against the Belo Monte mega-dam being built in the Brazilian Amazon.

Groups across Brazil called on Brazil’s President Rousseff to halt the construction of the destructive dam on the Xingu river. Their message was echoed by demonstrators in Australia, Canada, Iran, Mexico, Turkey, the United States, and at least nine other countries.

Survival supporters delivered letters to the Brazilian embassies in Berlin, London, Paris and Madrid expressing their concerns for the indigenous peoples living in the area.

Protesters rallied behind Amazon Indians against the Belo Monte dam.
Protesters rallied behind Amazon Indians against the Belo Monte dam.
© Survival

The international actions follow widespread outrage as the construction of the dam has begun despite numerous human rights and environmental violations, and massive opposition from the local population.

The dam will devastate vast areas of land, upon which numerous tribal people, including highly vulnerable uncontacted Indians, depend for their survival.

The Kayapó Indians of the region have warned that if the dam is built, the Xingu could become a ‘river of blood’.

Indigenous spokeswoman Sheyla Juruna has recently remarked that the indigenous people ‘are not against development… but there are other ways of generating energy… We consider the river our home… If the government continues to insist on Belo Monte, there will be war’.

Earlier this year, Survival supporters joined Amazonian Indians
in their protest outside the London office of Brazil’s state development bank BNDES, which is providing much of the funding for the Belo Monte project.

Survival’s Director, Stephen Corry, said today, ‘It’s gratifying to see so much international support for the Indians of the Xingu river – if only their own government would show similar care. The Brazilian state development bank should not finance projects that ride roughshod over the Indians’ right to the ownership of their land and resources’. 

Pictures of the protests are available for download here:

Protesters rallied behind Amazon Indians
against the Belo Monte damProtesters rallied behind Amazon Indians against the Belo Monte dam
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Credit: © Survival
 
Thousands of people protested against the Belo Monte dam in cities worldwide over the last few daysThousands of people protested against the Belo Monte dam in cities worldwide over the last few days
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Credit: © Survival
 
 Belo Monte protesters gathered in  Altamira, Brazil on August 19. Belo Monte protesters gathered in Altamira, Brazil on August 19.
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Credit: © Karen Hoffmann
 
Dozens of people demonstrated against the Belo Monte dam, outside the Brazilian Embassy in London today.Dozens of people demonstrated against the Belo Monte dam, outside the Brazilian Embassy in London today.
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Credit: © Survival
 
Brazilians protest against Belo Monte dam in the Amazonian city of BelémBrazilians protest against Belo Monte dam in the Amazonian city of Belém
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Credit: © Sue Cunningham
 
Belo Monte protesters gathered in Altamira, Brazil on August 19. Belo Monte protesters gathered in Altamira, Brazil on August 19.
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Credit: © Karen Hoffmann
 
Survival supporters handed in a letter to the Brazilian ambassador in Paris.Survival supporters handed in a letter to the Brazilian ambassador in Paris.
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Credit: © Thomas Léaud/ Survival
 
 

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