Brazilian Indians Let All Hostages Go After Protests Against a Dam

Brazilian IndiansA group of Brazilian Indians who had occupied the construction site of a hydroelectric dam and took more than 150 workers hostage in the far southern portion of the country’s Amazon region on Monday have released the last five people they were holding, a Brazilian government spokesman said. 

A spokesman for the National Indian Foundation or FUNAI said that all the people who had been hostages of the Indians had been released before a meeting with the protesters began to try and resolve the crisis.

As night fell, several officials with FUNAI and Iphan, the national institute for Brazil’s historical and artistic heritage, continued negotiating with the Indians to try and get them to leave the Dardanelos dam construction site in the municipality of Aripuanã in Mato Grosso state, which they had occupied on Sunday.

The some 300 Indians from 11 different tribes who over the weekend had taken hostage the 150 or so workers who were constructing the dam earlier on Monday had agreed to exchange them for five engineers from the construction company, but these five individuals were then released about 3 pm local time.

FUNAI confirmed the exchange and said that two of its officials traveled to the dam construction site to negotiate an end to the conflict and the release of the five Águas da Pedra employees.

The Indians are demanding compensation for damage the company did by “dynamiting” an archaeological site considered sacred by the peoples of the region.

FUNAI regional coordinator Antonio Carlos Ferreira de Aquino told reporters that the problems began three years ago when construction work began on the site of an Indian burial ground.

On Sunday, the Indians, equipped with homemade weapons like knives, bows and arrows, detained the workers and held them in their living barracks at the dam site.

The Indians of the region have perpetrated assorted violent incidents in recent years.

“The Indians did not at any time threaten their lives. They calmly asked them to go to their lodgings,” said Brazilian National Indian Foundation, or FUNAI, regional coordinator Antonio Carlos Ferreira de Aquino.

FUNAI is the government agency that handles relations with the Indian tribes.

The Indians are demanding compensation from the authorities for the social, cultural and environmental impact of the dam, located 30 kilometers from their reservation.

The construction firm “dynamited” part of an archaeological site considered sacred by the peoples of the region, Ferreira de Aquino said.

“Over the course of time, the Indians have demanded that they be given compensation, as set forth by the licensing law (for public works projects). Since the hydroelectric dam is going to begin operating at the end of this year, they have lost patience,” the FUNAI official said.

Mercopress

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil Threatens Argentina with Sanctions in Response to Trade Barriers

Brazil is looking at restricting credit lines to Argentina in retaliation for its neighbor's ...

Number of New Jobs Drop Sharply in Brazil

73, 285 jobs were created in Brazil in February, up 0.30% from January, but ...

Nowadays, the US Doesn’t Even Need to Meddle in Brazil to Get Its Due

Rumors that Lula’s 2002 presidential campaign got money from foreign countries are old news. ...

Brazil Becomes UN Center for Alcohol and Other Drugs Treatment

Initiatives by Brazil and Egypt will be recognized, in the second half of the ...

Brazil’s TV Brasil Wants to Be Regional BBC

Experimental transmission of the V World Social Forum (WSF 2005) marked the first steps ...

Uruguay Has 10,000 Tons of Milk Waiting a License to Enter Brazil

Given Brazil's long delay in extending import licenses for Uruguayan dairy produce Uruguay is ...

Brazil Studies How to Punish US for Anti-dumping Laws

Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Relations released a note stating that the government will “reserve Brazilian ...

Brazil Presents Its War on Hunger Case Story in Guatemala

Approximately 852 million people go hungry in the world – 18 million more than ...

Guaracy Falcão and wife Simone from Brazilian escola de samba Salgueiro

Brazilian Gunmen Kill Samba School Boss and Wife with 20 Shots

Just one day after a clash between the Rio de Janeiro police and drug ...