Alternative World Water Forum

We ended our occupation of the Belo Monte dam and came to dialogue with the government.

We did not make a deal with you. We accept the meeting in Brasilia because the more we said we would not leave there, the more police you sent to the construction site. And on the same day that we would be evicted by force of your police, you killed one of our relatives, of the Terena people, in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. So we decided that we did not want another dead. We avoided a tragedy, not you. You do not prevent tragedies, you execute.

We came here to speak to you of another tragedy that we will fight to prevent: the loss of our territory and our life. We did not come to negotiate with you, because one can negotiate territory nor life. We are against the construction of dams that kill indigenous land, because they kill the culture when they kill the fish and drown the land. And that kills us without weapons. You continue killing a lot. You just kill a lot. You already have killed too much, over the last 513 years.

We did not come to talk only about a dam in the Tapajós river, as you are saying in the press. We came to Brasilia to demand the suspension of studies and construction works of dams in the Xingu, Tapajos and Teles Pires rivers. You are not just talking with the Munduruku people. You are talking with the Xipaya, Kayapó, Arara, Tupinambá peoples and all the peoples who are together in this fight, because this fight is big and of all of us.

We did not bring lists of demands. We are against the dams. We require the federal government’s commitment to consult and ensure the veto right on projects that destroy us.

But no. You run over everything and do whatever you want. And for that, you do everything to divide the indigenous peoples. We came here to tell you to stop, because we will resist together and united. We have been gathered for 35 days in Altamira, and for 17 days we occupied the main hydroelectric you are building. Along with this letter we are sending all the letters of the two occupations that we did. Read everything carefully to understand our movement. And doing so, respect it, something you have not done until today.

The disrespect does not only come in words. It manifests in your actions. In the region of the Volta Grande of the Xingu river, everything is being destroyed and turned upside down, since you licensed the construction of the Belo Monte dam. All are very sad and only the rich are well off. Our relatives fought a lot. Even the construction workers suffer.

At the Teles Pires and Tapajós rivers, you are beginning right now, but you already disrespected us a lot.

In August 2012, your researchers began invading our lands and taking our animals and plants and counting hectares and measuring the water and perforate our lands.

In October, Funai and Eletrobras said in the meeting that the dams be build, no matter what, with us wanting or not wanting. And that they would send in police forces into our lands if necessary.

In November, the federal police attacked and destroyed the indigenous village Teles Pires, where we are all against the dams. Adenilson Munduruku was killed with three shots and another 19 indigenous were wounded. At the end of that month we went to Brasília to denounce this police operation at the Ministry of Justice, the Funai and at the General Secretariat of the Presidency. We also went to federal prosecutors’ office.

In January 2013, we organized a great Munduruku assembly in the village Sai Sinza, where we handed over a document with 33 demands to the clerk of the General Secretariat of the Presidency.

The following month, we went back to Brasília to ask for some answers on these 33 points from General Secretary of the Presidency. We managed to enter the ministry, but he ignored our demands and tried to get us sign a document accepting the Tapajós River dams.

To ensure by force the preparatory studies of the dams, in March 2013 the government issued a decree authorizing the entry of police troops on our land. A day after our villages were raided by police squads.

In Teles Pires, bones of our relative were found, very old bones. You are destroying a sacred place. We could not accept this anymore. That is why we occupied your construction site presenting our demands, demanding the government’s commitment to respect the original peoples of this country, to respect our right to land and life. Or, at least to respect its own law – the Constitution and the international treaties that you have signed. But you want to destroy the laws that protect us, indigenous peoples, with other new laws and decrees. You want to legalize destruction.

And now we come here to meet with you. Hoping that finally you will listen to us, instead of listening to those who pay your campaigns. Even if you are not willing to learn to listen, we are willing to teach.

Construction site of Belo Monte, Vitória do Xingu, June 4, 2013.

English translation of the letter no. 9 of Ocupação Belo Monte

Categories: Global stories

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