About 170 members of the Xingu Alive Forever movement have returned to Belo Monte’s main construction site, again halting work on the controversial 11.2 GW hydroelectric project.
The group — comprised of members from a number of indigenous Brazilian tribes — most recently disrupted operations earlier this month with a similar occupation, saying that construction began before the proper prior consultations were conducted.
“You [the Brazilian government] said that if we left the construction sites of Belo Monte, we would be heard,” a letter from the group said. “Waiting and calling did not work for us. So we are occupying your construction sites once again. We didn’t want to be back in your desert of holes and concrete. We take no pleasure in leaving our homes and our lands to hang our hammocks in your buildings. But how can we not do this, when that would mean losing our lands?”
Among other things, Xingu Alive Forever is demanding Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff come to the Belo Monte site to personally address the group, instead of deploying federal and military police to the camp as the government did in March.
“From now on, you the government have to stop telling lies through press releases and media interviews,” the letter continued. “You need to stop treating us like naà¯ve, irresponsible, easily-manipulated children. We are indigenous people and you need to deal with it.”
The consortium building Belo Monte, Norte Energia, has vowed to use “all legal avenues” to end the current occupation.
“The invaders are defying a judicial order and they will be made accountable for their actions under civil and criminal law,” a Norte Energia release said.