Indians and NGOs unite to oppose to Xingu dams

June 5, 2007

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Indigenous peoples and NGOs have met in the Amazon town of Altamira in Brazil to discuss their concerns about a series of hydroelectric dams planned for the Xingu river, one of the Amazon's main tributaries.

The Indians and NGOs announced that they are planning a huge gathering, to ‘show the government of Brazil our indignation and our position against the large scale projects it is implementing, which are destroying Amazonia.’

The statement from the meeting highlights how the dams will destroy peoples' livelihoods and ways of life:

‘We are totally opposed to Belo Monte [one of the large dams] because the Xingu river is our life. The death of the river threatens our lives, our future, our people, and our children and grandchildren. Any interference with the Xingu will cause the extinction of game animals and fish and will profoundly affect our lands and our health.

‘We Indigenous peoples wish to live and to breathe the Xingu river. Its water is the source of life and we don't want to die. We will not give up on life and we will not abandon our struggle. Our war cries are surging in our throats to oppose the enemy.’

Read the statement in full

Read more about the dams

Brazilian Indigenous People