Belo Monte Ads Take to the Air

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Norte Energia PR Video Shows Passive, Smiling Indigenous People

Recently, Belo Monte consortium Norte Energia (NESA) hired a PR firm to run video spots in 17 Brazilian airports in an effort to shape the public opinion of Brazil’s growing middle and wealthy classes.  One video spot features complacent, naked indigenous people, standing and smiling passively with their hands behind their backs as the Xingu River runs calmly through their digital landscape.  Of course, the Belo Monte Dam and reservoirs – which we modeled in Google Earth – are nowhere to be seen. 

In their video spot, NESA assures the public that Belo Monte’s two reservoirs would not flood any indigenous peoples’ land.  They’re right, they wouldn’t.  Nonetheless, NESA forgot to mention the downstream impacts of Belo Monte: by diverting 80% of the Xingu River into two reservoirs, the Belo Monte Dam would interrupt access to water for most of the tribes in the area.  

Thankfully, the Movimento Xingu Vivo Para Sempre (MXVS) created its own videos, which speak a bit more truth about the Belo Monte Dam.  For example, now that the giant mining company Vale has joined NESA, 405 megawatts (MW) of Belo Monte’s energy will power dirty aluminum, iron, and nickel smelters in the Amazon, too

Let’s help MXVS spread these videos far and wide.  Maybe Brazilian citizens will check Facebook and Twitter on their smartphones first, on their way to the airport.

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