Eco Recently interview Antonia Melo, leader of the Xingu Vivo Movement

Eco Recently interview Antonia Melo, leader of the Xingu Vivo Movement

Published in November 8, 2012 Written by Regis Estevez









She reports the current status of Belo Monte

By Régis Estevez Collaboration Tereza Amaral and Amanda Macabeli

Antonia Melo

Global reference of the movement, the midwife, as it is known, has admirers in all parts of the world.


Think of the greatest work of PAC, Belo Monte, is also thinking in the riparian populations, indigenous and other communities that are being directly affected by the work. The construction of the plant is also the biggest headache of the Federal Government, given the negative international repercussions caused by what means the greater social and environmental impact in the region and perhaps the country.

On the front lines of this struggle against the Belo Monte Dam for more than 25 years, is Antonia Melo, a midwife, a Lady of 63 years, with quiet and steady speech, an important leadership of Altamira, Pará, a sort of mother and sister to all the peoples of the Xingu which has the life marked by perform actions for the benefit of the excluded.

Known as the Warrior of nonviolence, dona Antonia spoke to Eco Recently about his struggle and on the Belo Monte dam.

Belo Monte is already a fait accompli?

No, because it is a totally illegal. What do you think of the agreements made with the North energy, the constraints?

Conditions were to be met by the North Energy Consortium and the federal Government, and is not in these agreements lies. Just cheat, and what is worse, such conditions public policies are fundamental rights of the population, improvements in health, education, basic sanitation, water treatment, public safety, housing work/decent employment, hospitals, schools, roads, policies to strengthen family agriculture among other rights of the population who pay the highest tax in the world … If we had serious Government and to respect democracyenvironmental, human rights, international treaties which the Brazilian Government is a signatory … We will never accept bargaining rights for belo Monte. Believe to be one of the greatest absurdities of crimes of aggression to national sovereignty. It is not a paradox to negotiate with the North Energy constraints in a work “totally illegal” both by our Federal Constitution as the Convention 169 of the ILO? It is a paradox, but this dictatorial government policy model of the works of the PAC, and the collusion of judges of the courts of justice law has no value entered in all schemes can, is allowed. Push belo monte down our throats, and save yourself who can!! Even if they are met, not left to the concern with nature a little hand (on the part of Indians and bordering)?

The federal Government and its Northern energy company will not fulfill condition no are only destroying the forests, the Xingu River, killing fish and other animals, destroying the crops of indigenous inhabitants, traditional communities … There was still no resettlement as it would be law. Riverine families are compulsorily “compensated” expelled from their homes, lands to live to 100, 200, 300 kilometers away from the River.

What are peoples and ethnic groups hardest hit with the work?

The indigenous communities who live on the Volta Grande do Xingu, macaws of MAIA, Yudjá in the village Pakisamba, Village Muratu, plus the villages of Kayapó indigenous Xikrin do Rio Pacajá, tributary of Xingu, which can also run out of water to navigate, without fish and more hundreds of coastal families, fishermen, farmers … It is true that some caciques received personal benefits according to Norte Energia? We cannot confirm because there has never been the indigenous declarations on the subject, but there are rumors of co-optation by the North. But what is public is a deception and lack of respect for the rights of indigenous peoples.

The people of Altamira and Belo Monte?

We have an example, these days a French journalist walking the streets doing interviews with the people, seen in a poster pasted on the front of the House with the words: “I am in favor of the Belo Monte dam” A journalist approached and asked the resident to confirm, surprise in his reply: I went in favour of the Belo Monte dam 30 years, but now that the works have started I am AGAINST because I noticed that will not bring any improvement in pro city people, just brought in traffic, crime, violence, drugs, famine, insecurity, lack of everything that is people’s rights …

What is the reality of Altamira especially after the swelling of population caused by personal life to work in the Consortium? A REAL MESS at all. Public agencies without structure, the only regional hospital on strike, hospitals crowded, people dying for lack of care, a lot of violence in traffic in the city, on the roads, violence death murders, drug trafficking, assault, prostitution of children and youth, poverty, climate and increase insecurity more woes. This is the sign of discontent and disenchantment of the population the misleading advertisements of federal Government and his company North energy, already are pure reality, several large and small businessmen have already collapsed, many people who come and who already live in Altamira has no where to live by high price of alugues, crowded hospitals, overcrowded classrooms and students children hot precastNorth of energy, constraints, in rural students studying under trees.

Belo Monte had support from major directors, actors, singers, wollyoodianos, of the national and artistic milieu, one hour to the next, are gone …What happened? The global actors and actresses, artists, singers who themselves against belo monte tried to do something that drew attention from the Government. The example of the Movement last straw that made a beautiful campaign which succeeded in a week more than 1 million signatures against the belo monte dam and delivered to the Government, whose response was ignored by the Government Dilma! Still continue strengthening the campaign against this energy model of development that destroys and kills. The last time the lady was with the President Dilma Rousseff and what she said about the greatest work of PAC? The first and last time I spoke with Dilma Rousseff, was in 2004, when she was Minister of mines and energy of the Lula administration, at a meeting with several leaders of Xingu on the study of belo monte, that alias was not meeting the Minister Dilma entered the room where we were waiting for, and only after few words hit the table and an authoritarian tone said “belo monte will come out” got up and left the room. A total disappointment. As President of Brazil, this woman if she wants the leaders received large example Dom Erwin Krautler Bishop of Xingu, the largest indigenous Xingu Kaiapó leaders as Raioni, Megaron, global artists of straw among other …

Besides the construction of the plant, we now see a huge gold mining project in the Volta Grande do Xingu. How do you see this situation? Do you see any relationship between the plant and the mining company? It is very clear that the belo monte dam and mining projects are together, former Governor of Pará, Ana Julia, told me in one of her visits to Altamira, to thicken the propaganda of the “beauties of the belo monte dam” that the company would expand its Valley mining platform in the region and leverage the development “what we see is the continuation of entreguíssimo on the part of the federal governments municipal, State and our natural resources by big business, the mining companies, eletrointenssivas that require a lot of energy for production of miners, aluminum etc. This is already happening in Volta Grande do Xingu by Canadian mining company while Beautiful Sun name well-suited to Belo Monte, is the complement of the destruction of the Xingu River of people and forests, all with the blessings of the Governments Dilma and Jatene.

The Lady suffers death threats?

Already suffered death threats in past years, but I am literally threatened these days with belo monte on the part of the federal Government. This venture and its complex belo monte is the sole responsibility of the federal Government. Lula before exiting the Government said publicly that if anyone (private companies) did not want to build the belo monte dam it would build, with government money from BNDES-public money. Therefore the threats against my life and a lot of people at Altamira are daily, not sleep more in peace, we live in a total life of future insecurity sure uncertain future all this causes great suffering! I do not know what will be the future of our generations? People suffering from depression patients, hypertension. If belo monte is criminally built, I would lose my house that there are 30 I’m trying to finish, and where to go? Would be more than 16 thousand people in the city who would have his home flooded, and so far the company has not called the population to speak the truth to the population, there is minimal respect, only human rights violations

There are strategies to halt the works before the River bus?

The strategies are clear to all society and the organs of Justice, more than 15 Federal Public Ministry actions and other social organizations in courts of Justice against all the illegalities of the Belo Monte hydroelectric complex, also still believe in a popular uprising, it has organized groups in several States and partner entities making the campaign against the belo monte dam in this developmental model of the federal Government.


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