Belo Monte STOPPED~ 5/2/2013
Protesters occupy building Belo Monte and ask for regulation of ILO Convention
Alex Rodrigues- Brazil Agency 02.05.2013-02:04 pm | Updated 02.05.2013-2:23 pm
Ethnic Indians, Munduruku Juruna, Kayapo, Xipaya, Kuruaya, Asurini, Parakanã and Arara took part in the protest (Elza Fiúza/ABr File)
Brasília-A group of Indians, Maroons, bordering and environmentalists occupied this morning (2), one of the construction sites of the Belo Monte dam on the Xingu River, in para. The protesters demand that the works of all hydropower projects in the Amazon are suspended until the process of prior consultation to traditional peoples as provided for in Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization (ILO), is regulated.
Approved by the National Congress in June 20, 2002, in the form of Decree No. 143, and promulgated by the President of the Republic in April 19, 2004, the Convention No. 169 establishes, among other things, that indigenous peoples and those who are governed wholly or partially by their own customs and traditions or by special legislation, should be consulted whenever legislative or administrative measures that affect their interests. The Convention determines that the query must be made “through appropriate procedures” and through their representative institutions, “with the goal of reaching an agreement and get the consent of the proposed measures”. The text came into effect, with the force of law in 2003.
In January 2012, the federal Government established an inter-ministerial working group to evaluate and present the proposal regulation of governmental mechanisms for consultation. The group is coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic and with the participation of several government agencies and entities.
In a statement, the indigenous missionary Council (Cimi) reports that at least 200 ethnic Indians Munduruku, Juruna, Kayapo, Xipaya, Kuruaya, Asurini, Parakanã and Arara took part in the protest. The military police of Pará to Brazil Agency reported that no more than 50 the number of Indians who, along with a few more protesters, closed the truck access to the Belo Monte Dam Site, one of three major construction sites of the enterprise, located 55 kilometers of Altamira (PA).
Both the PM and the advice of Consórcio Construtor Belo Monte (CCBM) informed to report that no act of violence or damage to property has been registered so far. Even so, the works were paralyzed for security reasons, both of workers and of the protesters. Twenty military police Special Missions command of PM, which were already at the site, monitor the situation. In addition, the Federal Police has been thrown.
The protesters did not present any claim to the Belo Monte Constructor or Consortium to Norte Energia, the company responsible for the project. The Agency Brazil has yet to contact the leaders of the movement.
Read the full text of letter released by demonstrators and reproduced by the Ccme, indigenous non-governmental organization linked to the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB).
“We are the people that lives in rivers on which you want to build dams. We are Munduruku, Juruna, Xipaya Kayapó, Parakanã, Asurini, Kuruaya, Arara, fishermen and Riverside. We are from Amazon and we want it. We are Brazilians. The river is our supermarket. Our ancestors are older than Jesus Christ.
You are pointing guns at our heads. You beset our land with soldiers and war. You are the fish disappear. You steal the bones of the old that are buried in our land.
You do this because they are afraid to hear us. We do not want to hear that. To understand because we do not want to dam.
You invent that we are violent and we want war. Who kills our relatives? How many whites were killed and how many indigenous people died? Who kills us is you, quickly or slowly. We are dying and each dam kills more. And when we try to talk you bring tanks, helicopters, soldiers, machine guns and weapons.
What we want is simple: you need to regulate the law governing prior consultation of indigenous peoples. Meanwhile you need to stop all the works and studies and police operations in the rivers Tapajós, Xingu and Teles Pires. And then you need to consult us.
We want dialogue, but you are not letting the people speak. That’s why we have dealt with your construction site. You need to stop everything and just hear us. “
Editing: Denise Griesinger