In Defense of Life and the Xingu River

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We wish to express our concern about the possible construction of a complex of hydroelectric dams on the Xingu River. If these large dams are constructed on the Volta Grande (Big Bend) of the Xingu River they will affect indigenous peoples, agricultural communities, the forest and its biodiversity, and would harm life in the Xingu basin.

We are totally opposed to Belo Monte [one of the large dams] because the Xingu River is our life. The death of the river would threaten our lives, our future, our people, and our children and grandchildren.

Any interference with the Xingu will cause the extinction of game animals, of fish and will profoundly affect our lands and our health.

We indigenous peoples wish to live and to breathe the Xingu River. Its waters are the source of our life and we don't want to die. We will not give up on life and we will not abandon our struggle. Our war cries are surging in our throats to oppose the enemy.

We want to gather together all the indigenous peoples of the Xingu, the Kayapó of the Upper Xingu, the indigenous peoples of the Xingu National Park and of the Amazon and Brazil, and to invite our allies to a big meeting in Altamira where we will show the government of Brazil our indignation and our position against the large-scale projects which it is implementing and which are destroying Amazonia.

We ask for support and help from national and international institutions so that the communities can fully participate in this big meeting.

Altamira, Pará state, Brazilian Amazon, June 3, 2007

Signed by:

Xikrin indigenous peoples of Pykajakà, Potikro, Bacajá, Mrotidjam communities; Kayapó indigenous peoples of Kikretum, Kokraimoro, Pukararankre, Kendjam, Moikarakô, Kôkôkuedjà, Kararaô communities; Araweté indigenous people of Igarapé Ipixuna; Parakanã indigenous people of Apyterewa; Asurini indigenous people of the Xingu; Juruna indigenous people of Pakisamba and Km 17 communities; Xipaya indigenous people; Kuruaya indigenous people; Arara indigenous people of Volta Grande, Laranjal and Cachoeira Seca communities in Pará; Apinajé indigenous people; Tembé indigenous people; Gavião indigenous people of Rondônia; Karitiana indigenous people of Rondônia 

Together with the social movements and NGOs:

Federation of Organisations for Social and Educational Assistance (FASE); Dema Fund; International Rivers; CIMI (Catholic Indigenous Missionary Council); the Parish of the Xingu; Verbo Divino Congregation; CPPS and Xaverian Missionaries; Movement for the Development of the Transamazônica and Xingu (MDTX); Movment of women of the countryside and towns in the Transamazônica region; Humanitas Institute; International Institute of Education of Brasil (IIEB); Movement of Dam-Affected People (MAB); Movement of small-scale farmers; Via Campesina; and researchers from the National Institute of Amazon Research (INPA) and Federal University of Pará (UFPA)