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Brazilians are angry – many people lack access to healthcare, quality education and reliable services while their politicians receive huge salaries and tax monies are allegedly diverted into payoffs and corrupt business deals. A recent increase in bus fares to help fund the lavish hosting of the 2014 World Cup has pushed the Brazilian public over the edge, launching sweeping protests across major cities. Nearly 250,000on Monday night alone!
Layered into the unrest is the public outcry over the Belo Monte Dam: a dangerous plan putting hydro power at the core of Brazil’s energy policy at great environmental and social cost. Allegations of dam builder, Norte Energia, using large political campaign contributions to buy the contract to build this now greatly over-budget, destructive, and militarized project have people fuming.
With your help we will continue to stand with those who are calling for peaceful and alternative solutions to dam-building and displacement.
Help us keep the heat on Brazil’s government, stop the Belo Monte dam and protect the rights of indigenous peoples. Stand with Brazilian civil society and indigenous communities as they stand together to call for change.
For the Amazon,
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Imagine you were the head of Chevron. In the first couple years since you took over the company its reputation has been continually tarnished by your own actions as well as environmental and human rights crimes. Would you expect to keep your job?
Under your “leadership”:
If your board were actually evaluating your performance – you’d be fired.
Well, Chevron CEO John Watson has done all that and worse.
To learn more about the many reasons Chevron CEO John Watson should be fired, please visit the True Cost of Chevon website. Tell the board to do their duty and hand Watson his pink slip. For the communities in Ecuador and for so many other reasons, it’s time for Watson to go!
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“Our world was big. We have already lost enough lands. Now, it’s enough!”
Last week Brazil and the world witnessed a historic moment of unity and struggle for the Amazon and its people. Some 200 indigenous peoples, riverine communities and fishermen joined at the Pimental construction site of the Belo Monte dam where they continue to occupy the area. They did not come to hold discussions with the construction consortium; they want their agenda to he heard by the Brazilian Federal Government.
The group’s demands are straightforward: To clearly define the regulation of prior and informed consultation of indigenous peoples and to immediately suspend all work and studies related to dams on the rivers where they live.
Among the warrior communities present are the Munduruku people of the Tapajós River basin. According to their General Chief Saw, the government seeks to build these dams as if there were no genuine life in these places…
This is the Newsletter of amazonwatch.org
|ALL TO ACTION:
Support Indigenous Occupation of the Belo Monte Dam Site Now Entering Day 7
“I am very worried about the Belo Monte dam. I told the Brazilian environment minister not to build Belo Monte, because we indigenous who live on the edge of the Xingu River have our population growing. We need space. We need land.” – Chief Raoni
I wanted to share this urgent update about the escalating resistance to the destructive Belo Monte dam complex in the Brazilian Amazon. Please take a moment to read this update and support the indigenous and riverbank communities of the Xingu!
In the final days of the Rio+20 Earth Summit, several hundred members of the Xikrin, Juruna and Arara indigenous peoples affected by the Belo Monte Dam began an indigenous-led occupation of the construction site on Pimental Island in the Xingu River. The occupation – now in its 7th day – is gaining strength as more indigenous inhabitants come to join the blockade. Indigenous leaders have set up a peaceful encampment in the middle of the earthen coffer dam, confiscated keys to various trucks and earth moving equipment and stopped all construction works in the area.
This protest is specifically calling attention to the failure on the part of the dam-building consortium to address the grave impacts to the lives and livelihoods of the region’s indigenous inhabitants. These impacts are already being felt just from the early stages of dam construction and stem from the diversion of the majority of the flow of the Xingu River away from the 62-mile stretch known as the Big Bend.
On Monday, a local judge rejected an eviction order request from NESA (the dam building consortium) for the police to forcibly remove the occupiers.Tomorrow, officials from the Brazilian government agency FUNAI and Electronorte (State-owned power company and the main stakeholder in the dam) are scheduled to travel to the occupation to dialogue with the communities.
Meanwhile, authorities have begun a crackdown on leading members of the Movimento Xingu Vivo, the Xingu Alive Movement for organizing several actions in mid-June. At the request of Electronorte, the police authorities are considering the issue of arrest warrants for at least 11 local activists and residents. The hearing was held today and the court is expected to rule tomorrow.
Amazon Watch’s team has sprung into action mobilizing the international media and getting the story out. At the Rio+20 earth summit we accompanied indigenous leaders Chief Raoni and Sheyla Juruna as they spoke out against Belo Monte in many different spaces. This week our team is coordinating media outreach, mobilizing funding and international observers, and supporting the legal defense of the local leaders facing criminal charges and who face imminent arrests.
I am calling on your support. Please make a generous donation to the Xingu Urgent Action Fund at this critical moment to enable Amazon Watch and our local partners to carry out this important work. Don’t forget to share this update with your personal networks and stay tuned for more news.
For the Amazon Rainforest,
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You now know Chief Raoni and the courageous Kayapo, who are waging an epic battle against the Belo Monte dam slated to rip through the heart of the Amazon.
A stuffy corporate boardroom filled with big oil executives, and then a knock at the door.
In marches Emergildo Criollo, leader of the Cofan peoples in Ecuador in full traditional dress demanding that the business “leaders” at Chevron clean up the devastation they left in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
In Canada, a similar scene plays out as Peas Peas, an Achuar indigenous leader fighting to defend his ancestral territory in the Peruvian forest confronts Talisman Energy demanding they abandon plans to drill in his homeland.
This isn’t a fantasy – this is the real work of Amazon Watch– bringing indigenous leaders and worldwide movements to the boardrooms of the planet’s biggest corporations hell-bent on destroying the rainforests.
It takes tremendous resources to make this all happen, from sounding the alarm to getting indigenous peoples face-to-face with corporate executives. Amazon Watch is a lean organization dedicated to making a big impact – but we can’t do it without people like you. That’s why we invite you to be a part of this incredible work by making a donation of any amount to Amazon Watch today.
Amazon Watch is leading cutting-edge campaigns with our partners across the Amazon to confront corporations and governments destroying communities and pristine rainforest. We’re gearing up to support leaders from throughout the region on delegations that will bring their voices to halls of power, shareholder meetings and in front of corporate executives whose decisions determine their future and that of our planet.
Won’t you join our movement with a gift of $10, $25, or even $100? Add your voice to the growing chorus on the frontlines of Amazon destruction. Together we can ensure a cleaner future and life in the Amazon rainforest.
For the Amazon,
Atossa Soltani, Executive Director
and the entire Amazon Watch Staff and Board
This has been a time of tragedy in the Amazon. This week the Brazilian government green-lighted construction on the monstrous Belo Monte Dam despite searing local, national and international opposition. Yet despite the initiation of this criminal operation, I can assure you that the battle to defend the Xingu River and its people is far from over.
I have just returned from the Brazilian Amazon, where Chief Raoni gathered with hundreds of Kayapo warriors, indigenous leaders from 18 ethnicities, and leaders from the Xingu Alive Forever Movement (MXVPS).
“This is the last chance we have to paralyze Belo Monte’s construction,” Renata Pinheiro told the indigenous assembly. “The future of the Xingu is in your hands, indigenous peoples and social movements. You succeeded in stopping Belo Monte for 30 years – now more than ever we need to strengthen our resolve, joining forces to stop the beginning of construction.”
It’s now more important than ever that we take this campaign to the next level.
Take a stand, stop this monstrous project by joining the Cause on Facebook “Stop the Monster Dam: Protect the Xingu River and its People”. Your donation today will support the travel of indigenous leaders to Brasilia and Altamira to make their voices heard.
Xingu Alive Forever! Xingu Vivo Para Sempre!
Brazil Program Coordinator
Carmen Zambrano is one of the 30,000 men, women and children of the Ecuadorian Amazon who continue to suffer the disastrous effects of Chevron’s greedy, reckless and polluting oil operations.
Carmen’s suffering and that of her family has transformed her from a quiet and reserved mother into an unlikely – and courageous – community leader speaking out for all those struggling to survive amidst Chevron’s widespread oil contamination.
Carmen traveled outside Ecuador for the first time last week, coming to the United States to press Chevron to take responsiblity for the poisons the company has abandoned in her rainforest home.
At Chevron’s shareholder meeting tomorrow we want to deliver a petition with 30,000 signatures – a signature from a supporter like you, standing up for each of the 30,000 people in the Ecuadorian Amazon demanding justice from the oil giant. As I write this we have 18,000 signatures and need 12,000 more to reach our goal.
Please sign our petition now in solidarity with Carmen and the other mothers who fight for a healthy and just future for their children.
Coordinator, Clean Up Ecuador Campaign
P.S. – Tomorrow Amazon Watch and our allies from around the world will deliver your signature directly to Chevron’s leadership. Use your voice to help amplify the voice of people like Carmen who have waited too long for justice.