Amazon Indians blockade dam site

The remote Enawene Nawe tribe have blockaded the construction site of a hydroelectric dam in the Brazilian Amazon, which they say will destroy their vital fishing grounds.

Around 100 members of the 420-strong tribe occupied the building site and a nearby highway on Thursday. They want to stop the construction of a complex of hydroelectric dams being built on the Juruena river, upstream from their land.

Companies led by the world’s largest soya producers, the Maggi family, are pushing for the construction of the dams. But the Enawene Nawe, who eat no red meat, say that if the dams are built, the fish they rely on will no longer be able to reach their spawning grounds.

The Enawene Nawe say they have not been consulted about the dams. They are demanding an independent study into the impact they will have.

A previous blockade of a major highway in June led the government to negotiate with the Indians, but plans for construction of the dams continued.