World Rainforest Movement

Belo Monte dam site occupied!

On October 27, hundreds of indigenous men and women, fisherfolk and riverine community members occupied the construction site of one of the biggest hydroelectric dam projects in the world, the Belo Monte dam in the state of Pará, Brazil, which will have devastating impacts on the lives of the local population.

The occupation was an act of protest against the Brazilian government’s intransigent stance towards dialogue, as well as its refusal to appear at a hearing called in Washington by the OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which has called for an explanation as to why the affected communities were not duly consulted. Finally, the protestors condemned the slow pace of the justice system with regard to decisions on the numerous legal proceedings that have been filed, and called for the suspension of the dam’s construction in view of the many irregularities that have been duly confirmed.

After 15 hours the protestors decided to end the occupation given that the Justice –with striking agility — fulfilled the dam-building consortium’s demand and ordered the police to proceed with the eviction. At the same time the demonstrators evaluated that their action had been very important, being “a new milestone in the alliance against the dam”. They also stressed that “our resistance against this project (..) continues unabated.”