Brazil's Balbina Dam: Environment Versus the Legacy of the Pharoahs in Amazonia

Saturday, July 1, 1989
Read article by Philip Fearnside of Brazil's National Institute for Amazon Research (INPA) on the impacts of Balbina Dam. The article was originally published in the journal Environmental Management.

Raposa Serra do Sol: Pyrrhic Victory for Indigenous Peoples in Brazil?

Indigenous People Commemorate Supreme Court Decision on Raposa Serra do Sol Reserve
Indigenous People Commemorate Supreme Court Decision on Raposa Serra do Sol Reserve José Cruz/ABr Brazil's Supreme Court recently issued a decision confirming the demarcation of 4.2 million acres for indigenous peoples in the Raposa Serra do Sol reserve in Roraima state. It's been hailed as a landmark victory for indigenous people, principally because it represented the culmination of three decades of struggle by the Macuxi and other indigenous peoples to legalize their territory. However, some legal experts now say the decision, which also imposed 19 conditions on the nati

Tensions Rise Over Licensing of Dams

Friday, February 27, 2009
Read the article from Recharge Magazine on the Madeira River dams.

Eletrobrás Sets Out to Conquer the Amazon

Ashaninka of the Ene River Valley, Peru
Ashaninka of the Ene River Valley, Peru Emily Caruso Returning from three months of sabbatical, the news caught my eye that Brazil's state electric holding company, Eletrobrás has now set its sights on potential dam sites far afield. The company announced that, together with a group of Brazilian construction companies, it will assess more than 15 potential dam sites in the upper Amazon region of Peru. The lion's share of the electricity generated would be sent several thousand kilometers over transmission lines through the rainforest to Brazil. Last year, Eletrobrás had announced i

Las tribus amazónicas luchan por mantener vivo al río Xingu

Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Durante cinco días este mayo, cientos de grupos tribales de los sitios más remotos de la cuenca amazónica se reunieron a protestar contra el plan de construir grandes presas en el río Xingu, tributario más grande del Amazonas. Era como estar en las Naciones Unidas de los pueblos indígenas. Representantes de Kayapó, Parakanã, Assurini y otros grupos indígenas llegaron luciendo la pintura ceremonial de genipapo (negro) y urucum (rojo) con adornos de plumas. Algunos viajaron distancias de hasta mil millas para asistir a la reunión. Los pueblos indígenas de la región vieron en esta reu

Amazon Tribes Fight to Keep the Xingu Alive

Tuesday, June 24, 2008
For five days in May, hundreds of tribal people from the far reaches of the Amazon Basin came together to protest plans for huge dams on the Xingu River, the largest tributary of the Amazon. It was like being at a United Nations of indigenous peoples. Representatives from the Kayapó, Parakanã, Assurini and other indigenous groups arrived ceremonially adorned with genipapo (black) and urucum (red) bodypaint and feather adornments. Some traveled as far as 1,000 miles to attend the meeting. The indigenous peoples of the region viewed the meeting with officials in Altamira as a critical moment t

In Defense of the Xingu

Kayapó leader Tuira receives Tenotã-Mõ book from women activists
Kayapó leader Tuira receives Tenotã-Mõ book from women activists The attack on the Eletrobrás official set off a series of recriminations, aimed at discrediting the movement. But, the Kayapó re-oriented their actions towards moving forward in their defense of the Xingu. Calling the regional Federal Attorney to the table, the Kayapó brought all their chiefs to address him, saying "we are authorities of our people, too. We want to make it very clear how we stand regarding the dams planned for the Xingu." One chief brought his daughter with him. Embracing her, he said "What I am saying is

Tensions Boil Over at Altamira

Kayapó dance at the Belo Monte protest
Kayapó dance at the Belo Monte protest Shock. Despair. I was on the panel discussing the impacts of Belo Monte Dam, when about eight Kayapó Indians incensed at the defense of the project by state company Eletrobrás' project manager, Paulo Fernando Rezende who had been invited to the encounter, suddenly rushed him. They threw him to the ground about ten feet from me. Chanting and waving machetes, the Kayapó pushed NGO leaders raising their hands and calling for calm out of the way, and in the scuffle, Rezende emerged with a cut on his shoulder. He was treated at the Transamazon Hospital

Ethiopia's Endangered Lower Omo Valley

Monday, January 26, 2009
“The rise and fall of the Omo waters is the heartbeat of the Lower Omo Valley. More than any other single factor, the river determines everyday economic practice throughout the region.” Download Facing Gibe 3 Dam: Indigenous Communities of Ethiopia's Lower Omo Valley January 2009 (200 KB)The Lower Omo Valley is home to a half million people, a significant number of whom practice flood retreat cultivation and other traditional agro-pastoralist livelihoods. At least eight distinct indigenous communities depend on the Omo River’s flood cycle: the Mursi, Bodi, Muguji (Kwegu

Judge Suspends Studies for Amazon Dam: Legality of World's Third Largest Dam Project Questioned

Friday, April 18, 2008
A Brazilian federal court judge issued a restraining order on Wednesday, April 16 suspending technical and economic feasibility and environmental studies for Belo Monte Dam, on the Xingu River, one of the Amazon's principal tributaries. In his decision, Judge Antonio Carlos Almeida Campelo ruled that the government's awarding of the contract for the studies to Brazil's three largest civil construction companies – Camargo Correa, Odebrecht, and Andrade Gutierrez - without competitive bidding was illegal. The suit was brought by the federal attorney's office.Eletrobrás, the state electric hol


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