Indigenous Encampment Planned on Xingu River

International Rivers, Amazon Watch, COIAB, Movimento Xingu Vivo Para Sempre

For immediate release, August 5, 2010

Hundreds to Converge in Altamira to Highlight Threats of Proposed Belo Monte Dam

Members of the Press Invited to Attend

Altamira, Brazil - Hundreds of Brazilian indigenous leaders from the Amazon Basin will be joined by local riverbank dwellers and dam-affected people to participate in a regional meeting of the Terra Livre Encampment, in Altamira, Pará, from August 9-12. Organized by the Amazonian Indigenous Organization COIAB, and supported by a coalition of Brazilian and international organizations, participants will occupy the riverside port of Altamira and discuss threats posed by major infrastructure projects in the Amazon, in particular the controversial Belo Monte Dam. The meeting will end with a public rally in Altamira on August 12.

Named "In Defense of the Xingu: Against Belo Monte!," the Encampment is expected to be a seminal meeting for the indigenous resistance to Belo Monte Dam. Five hundred indigenous leaders from the Amazon Basin will meet together with local communities and leading Brazilian academics to discuss large infrastructure projects; the struggles of Brazilian indigenous and social movements in response; and issues around the demarcation of indigenous territories. Choosing to hold the summit in Altamira, a city that would be partially flooded by the planned Belo Monte Dam, brings the dam project and the Brazilian government's Accelerated Growth Program (PAC) to the forefront of the battle for indigenous rights and for a more ecologically sound development path.

The four-day meeting will feature presentations by indigenous and grassroots leaders, experts, as well as human rights and environmental lawyers. At the completion of the meeting, participants will draft a declaration to present at the National Terra Livre Encampment being held at Campo Grande, in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, from August 16-20, 2010. The declaration will also be presented at a press conference between 8am and 12 noon on Thursday, August 12, followed by a public rally in Altamira.


Media contacts: 

Letícia Campos
, COIAB: +55 61-9949-6926
Verena Glass, Movimento Xingu Vivo Para Sempre: +55 11-9853-9950
Brent Millikan, International Rivers: +55 61-8153-7009
Christian Poirier, Amazon Watch: +1 510-666-7565