Indigenous Movement Protests Against the Granting of the Belo Monte Dam Concession in Brasilia

By: 
Communications Department / COIAB: Leticia Campos
Date: 
Thursday, August 26, 2010

A mobilization against the signing of the Concession for Belo Monte marked the inauguration of the refurbished Presidential Palace on Thursday, August 26th, 2010.

The act took place in the plaza of the three powers in Brasília, with the participation of indigenous leaders, representatives of environmental organizations like Greenpeace, the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) and the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) and civil society.

The goal of the mobilization was to protest against the signing of the Decree of the Grant for the Concession of the Belo Monte Dam Complex, one of the last bureaucratic steps to start construction of the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Plant on the Xingu River.

The signing of this decree supersedes the auction process, which is still being dealt with and violates the laws of Brazil, the Federal Constitution and international agreements such as Convention 169 of ILO and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which guarantees the consent free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples in the case of new development projects affecting their lives.

According to Marcos Apurinã, General Coordinator of the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB), "the government failed to carry out consultation with indigenous representatives, and pushed Belo Monte down our throat. We went several times to Brasilia last year and we were never received by anyone. "

During the mobilization a rejection letter signed by several organizations that are opposed to the signing of the concession was handed over to authorities, protesting that the concession is a macabre offensive that sentences the Xingu River to death.

The act symbolized the strength of the indigenous movement and social and environmental movements in Brazil, and all those who oppose the project.

President Lula signed the concession this morning, even before IBAMA granted the required Installation License to begin construction.

Read the letter via this link.

More information: 

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