On May 2, representatives of eight indigenous groups from around the Amazon began an occupation of the construction site of the Belo Monte Dam. They were asking the government of Brazil to respect the legal requirement of prior and informed consultation of indigenous peoples and to immediately suspend construction, technical studies and police operations related to dams along the Xingu, Tapajós and Teles Pires rivers.
The government responded by prohibiting journalists, lawyers, and even food to enter the occupation site. Late on the night of May 8, the Regional Federal Tribunal (TRF-1) ruled that the indigenous groups could be expelled by the use of force. Negotiations continued throughout the day, and on the evening of May 9 the protestors decided to leave of their own accord rather than face the threat of violence from the amassing police and military troops.
- Even though they have left the dam site, they are still committed to securing an agreement from the government to prior and informed consultation, and an end to all dam construction until this is undertaken. Your continued support of their efforts to ensure that the Brazilian government respects indigenous people’s rights is incredibly appreciated.
Please contact President Dilma and other authorities in the federal government demanding respect towards indigenous people and a peaceful solution to this conflict.
Please copy and past the letter below (or download the attached version) and send via email or fax to the contacts listed after the letter. Please also cc: firstname.lastname@example.org. Note – you will need to do this manually via your own email program, this is not an automated online action.
Thank you very much for support at this critical time!
Dear President Dilma and other members of the government of Brazil,
We seek a peaceful resolution for the conflict over the construction of the Belo Monte Dam and other dams in the Amazon.
We recognize as legitimate and support the claims of the Munduruku people, the Xingu people and other indigenous peoples of Brazil – may their right to free, prior and informed consent be respected. Their human rights are based on the democratic principle of the Brazilian state and are guaranteed both in art. 231 of the Federal Constitution and in the international instruments that have been incorporated into national legislation, such as ILO Convention 169, which is guaranteed by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ratified by the government of Brazil.
We reject the use of force against peaceful demonstrations of indigenous people who have the courage to fight for their rights. We demand that the federal government find a peaceful resolution for these conflicts within the framework of a respect for the human rights of indigenous peoples, the Federal Constitution of Brazil and international treaties.
(name, title, organization)
Ms. Dilma Rousseff
President of the Republic
Phone: (61) 3411-1200/1201
Fax: (61) 3411-2222
Mr. Gilberto Carvalho
Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic
Phone: (61) 3411.1224
Fax: (61) 3321-1994
Mr. José Eduardo Cardozo
Minister of Justice
Mr. Paulo Maldos
Secretary of Social Affairs SG/PR
Phone: (61) 3411-1709
- Support the occupation with a financial donation via Causes. Our friends at Amazon Watch will send 100% of the money raised to support the occupation in Brazil.
- Official Belo Monte Occupation Blog
- Press release from the Ministério Público Federal