Worried with Their Survival Brazilian Indians Blockade Railroad in the Amazon

Amazon tribe blockade railroad in protest against Brazilian mining giant Members of Brazil’s Awá tribe have blockaded a railroad owned by Vale mining company in the eastern Amazon. The company has moved to expand the railroad, but the Awá say the expansion will increase the number and size of trains which transport iron ore from the Carajás mine to the port of São Luis – and that this will make it harder for them to hunt for food. 

Carajás is the world’s largest open pit iron ore mine. To transport the iron ore, trains that are over three kilometers in length regularly hurtle through close to Awá territory.

The tribe is calling for a meeting with the company and FUNAI, the Brazilian government’s indigenous affairs department, so that their wishes can be heard and their rights respected.

On Saturday a large group of Awá families occupied a section of the railroad which runs alongside their land.

Amazon tribe blockade railroad in protest against Brazilian mining giant

Following a meeting with Vale representatives, the Awá agreed to suspend the blockade on condition that the company upholds its agreement to mitigate the impacts on the Indians’ forest.

This is the first time that the Awá have blockaded the railroad on their own initiative and reflects their determination to hold Vale to account.

In April 2014, a campaign by human rights organization Survival’s international succeeded in pushing the Brazilian government to evict illegal loggers and settlers who had destroyed over 30% of their central territory.

However, the Awá are still one of the most vulnerable peoples on the planet. Around 100 remain uncontacted and are very vulnerable to diseases brought in by outsiders, to which they have no resistance.

Last year fires, possibly started by loggers, ravaged one Awá territory, home to the largest group of uncontacted members of the tribe.

Tags:

Ads

You May Also Like

US Called Immoral Polluter by Protesters in Brazil

Representatives of social movements, unions, and environmental organizations protested in front of the American ...

Ibero-American Summit Blasts Bush for Wall of Shame. Brazil Leader Is Absent

At the end of the 16th Ibero-American Summit of Chiefs of State and Government, ...

Brazilian industry

Who Is Really Afraid of the FTAA? Brazil’s Big Business

Although every Latin American government pays lip service to integration, taking the concrete steps ...

Amazon during the rainy season

Brazil/US Study Shows the Amazon Emits 1/4 of Planet’s Methane

A study by Brazilian and American scientists just published in the Geophysical Research Letters ...

Brazil to Spend US$ 60 Billion in Ten-Year Energy Plan

A Ten-Year Plan for the Electricity Sector, which has just been released by the ...

Inquiry Asks for Ouster of 71 Brazilian Congressmen

Brazilian Senator Amir Lando, reporter of the congressional inquiry that investigated the sale of ...

Brazilian Companies Hire Under the Table to Avoid Paying Taxes and Benefits

Most of the Brazil’s legally constituted companies continue to agglomerate in major urban centers, ...

Brazilian Firm in Bid to Build 750-mile Highway in Algeria

Brazilian construction company Andrade Gutierrez is going to participate in tenders for the construction ...

Brazil: Grassroots Action Amid Mud Huts

Brazil’s Ministry of Cities’ National Urban Development Policy program (PNDU) has arrived in a ...

Abbott Fell for Brazil’s Blackmail, Says US Group

An American group called USA for Innovation yesterday expressed its disappointment with the Government ...