Brazilian Indians Want You to Help Them Halt Hydroelectric in Sacred Land

The Paranatinga II hydroelectric power station is being built in a sacred site for the indigenous peoples living in the Xingu area, at 100 km from the official bounds of the Xingu Indigenous Park, where, according to their traditions, Mavutsinim created all humankind and held the first Kuarup. The Kuarup is the main festivity of the peoples living in that region.

Worried with the life of the Xingu river, with the survival of fish species and with their food sources, the indigenous people have fought against the construction of the dam since 2004, when they became aware of the project.

Now, the Waurá, Kuikuru, Yawalapiti, Kamayurá, Nafuquá, Aweti, Kalapalo, Mehinako, Matipu, Trumai, Ikpeng, Kayabi, Juruna, Beiço de Pau, Suyá, Kayapó, and Xavante peoples are requesting the support from society at large to prevent the construction of the dam. They want the following letter to be sent the federal administration.

"We, the Indigenous Movement in Defense of the Xingu River, are asking you to help us to prevent the construction of the Paranatinga II power plant and of other dams in the region (Paranatinga II is only one of eleven hydroelectric projects scheduled to be implemented in the Xingu River).

We want these lands to have their original status preserved and to protect them as sacred sites, as well as other sacred sites which remained outside our lands (as is the case of Kamukwaká cave, where the first ear-piercing ritual was held)."

The full text in Portuguese and the addresses to send the request are here: http://www.cimi.org.br/?system=news&action=read&id=2010&eid=353

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office filed a public civil action to stop the construction of the dam and a preliminary decision was issued suspending the construction activities in 2005.

Disregarding this decision, the dam continued to be built. On June 3, 2006, over 150 people from the Xingu area representing the 14 different groups living in it, peacefully occupied the construction site and prevented the construction from continuing.

Cimi – Indianist Missionary Council – www.cimi.org.br

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