‘Nobody has consulted us about dams’ say Indians

May 22, 2008

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Brazilian Indians holding a mass rally this week in the Amazon town of Altamira say they have not been consulted about a series of huge dams that the Brazilian government wants to build on the Xingu River.

Around a thousand Indians from the Kayapó, Ikpeng and other tribes, along with riverbank dwellers and small farmers, have gathered in Altamira to oppose the hydroelectric dam project. ‘We’re here to tell the government we’re against the dam’, said one Kayapó Indian.

The leader of COIAB, the umbrella organisation for Indigenous peoples of the Brazilian Amazon, Jecinaldo Sataré Mawé, said, ‘What Indians do not accept is that these projects are imposed upon them.’

The Xingu River is one of the main tributaries of the Amazon. The Indians say that damming it will destroy their way of life, ruin their health and kill the fish and animals they eat.

Brazilian Indigenous People