World conflicts exposed by Brazil in Belo Monte

World conflicts exposed by Brazil in Belo Monte

Lunae Parracho          
Indians surrounding FAB aircraft at the time of negotiation with the Government for questioning the hydroelectric works Resistance        

Photographer was expelled by the police force of the construction site of the plant when it included the Indians ‘ resistance to the hydroelectric power plant

 Posted in 6/9/2013 | Katia Brembatti       

Most of the images that show the world the controversial construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric power plant, in the Amazon, comes out of the photographer’s lenses Lunae Parracho. The Washington Post, Le Monde and El Pais are some of the prestigious foreign newspapers have published photos of Lunaé. But recently, was the work that plays-turned-news. During an indigenous occupation in the power plant, the photographer and the French journalist François Cardona were expelled by the police force and unable to register what was happening at the construction site. The case happened in the international press freedom day, may 3.

Since 2011, Lunaé accompanies any strain that involves the construction of the power plant, the 3.1 thousand kilometers. Did not see only the claims of the Indians, but also the output of residents who were removed from the dam area, gangs of illegal deforestation and the swelling of the city of Altamira, who suffers from social problems because it was not prepared for the explosive growth. Son of RPC TV reporter Fernando Parracho, Lunaé grew up in the midst of the dilemmas that involve the news.

Serious problems

In a month there were three violent situations with journalists in coverage of indigenous conflicts:

19.04 -reporter for the indigenous missionary Council (CIMI) said to have been assaulted by police Federal Chamber legislative when Indians occupied the House.

03.05 -police expelled from the construction site of the photographer of Reuters Lunaé  and the French journalist François Cardona.

18.05 -journalist Ruy Sposati, CIMI had the equipment (notebook and camera) seized by Federal Police, without a court order, during coverage of a conflict in Mato Grosso do Sul.


The Photographic and Cinematographic Reporters Association (Arfoc) and the National Federation of journalists (Nacional dos Jornalistas) repudiated “the violent and anti-democratic way” in withdrawal of Brill and François Lunaé

Cardona of the construction site. The document argues that journalism professionals who were working on the roof of fact were prevented from working. Gideon Aurelian, who is a Director of Arfoc, points out that it is regrettable the way violent and disrespectful that was waived to press professionals. “Unfortunately the free exercise of our profession of journalists of the image was once again beaten,” he said.

Vigilante press

In early may, about 150 Indians, eight people, entered the construction site and announced that the construction work was suspended. Conflicts involving indigenous peoples can only be reviewed by the Federal Court, which, in a first moment, denied the repossession to the construction company. However, the State Court ruled that non-Indians leave the construction site. The Indians reacted because they feared that, without the presence of the press, they were subject to violence that would not be disclosed. Paygomuyatpu, Munduruku tribe Indian, stayed with the Lunaé camera and recorded the forced out by police. From there, the photographer could not pass the gatehouse.

The episode marked the path of Lunaé, which has already lost the accounts of how many times it was to Stop and how many pictures have been published abroad. He estimates that in the last year and a half, spent eight months in the North of Brazil, with camera in hand. Even after the expulsion, he did not give up to keep track of the conflicts in the region. In the past week, when the Indians returned to the dam construction site, Lunaé was there recording.


Indians need to act to get noticed, says photojournalist

Lunae Parracho, photographer

In an interview with Gazeta do Povo, Lunaé photographer Brill counts as has been the experience of following closely behind the construction of the hydroelectric dam in the Amazon.

As decided to go to Be this Lot?

It was at the time of the first indigenous occupation in the construction of the power plant. Was in São Paulo, accompanying the movement that was happening in Pará. When I realized that something was going to happen, I went there, but I’m already occupation qu was over. I decided to stay a while there to understand the story. It was a month and a half in the region, knowing other situations, such as cases of illegal extraction of wood.

At that time you had no experience in indigenous conflict coverage?

I just had gone in a village in the northeast in 2005. It was all new to me. I had to learn everything.

When you are in front of the immensity of the work, what do you think?

I look at the plant and wonder to the work. I’m not against power generation. Use. But the way the work unfolds violates rights of indigenous peoples, bordering, residents of the city that did not have any preparation to receive a huge increase of the population. Rent raised, has no hospital. In the city that houses the hydroelectric plant, lack direct light.

What is the perception of indigenous peoples?

Are under attack. Of major economic interests. People are fighting for a flag that goes far beyond them. Fight for the right to land, to continue existing, to maintain their culture, but they fight to preserve the forest and this fight brings, within it, a discussion about the model of development that the country should apply in the Amazon. The natives are criminalized and subject to much prejudice. The Brazil does not recognize and does not value for diversity.

The climate is more tense today or when it came to Stop, at the beginning of the work?

Today is more tense because the Government is recrudescendo in relation to indigenous peoples. Did the work without having consulted the Indians. Injured a constitutional law and an international treaty. More and more Indians need to act to get noticed. In the South of Bahia, for example, a group expected to land demarcation for 24 years and decided to go into 52 farms to be noticed. They are being led to the conflict to fight for rights.

No one touched you during the expulsion, but do you consider that the withdrawal was violent?

I felt outraged. Of course that was violent, to the extent that you have in front of dozens policemen with shields and gas masks and bailiff says that you are authorized to use police force. I don’t consider myself an intruder. In that situation, we’re talking about a Government project, the greatest work of the country, which has giant impacts, which is being funded by public money, on top of an area that was declared a public utility, with the Indians claiming rights, makes the whole situation of public interest. As a journalist, I have the prerogative to be keeping up with what’s going on. In this situation, do not have how to make a schedule with the press. It is a situation of conflict.

What can change the game in favor of the Indians?

We must give voice. More than that. Listen to them. Because they’re talking about, but they are not being heard. There are many interests trying to muffle the voice, delegitimize the Indians deny. Their rights were violated in 1500. Now it’s time for the country as a whole pay more attention to the Indians of Brazil.


%d bloggers like this: