Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Munduruku Indians continue demanding suspension of Belo Monte dam

On June 4th, the Brazilian government flew 144 Munduruku Indians to Brasilia for talks at Planalto Palace to end their week-long occupation of the Belo Monte dam construction site. Photos from the parley show a table of suited government officials facing an audience of Mundurukus. To anyone with half a brain, it was a position of authority & dominance--the position you take when you want to read the riot act not when you want to negotiate.

There’s no doubt the government was planning to pull a fast one on the Indian protestors but things must not have gone so well because by June 6th the Mundurukus were protesting all over town--lying on the street (to symbolize the dead) in front of the Ministry of Mines & Energy & continuing their call for suspension of Belo Monte construction. Here Munduruku protestors are being prevented by security from entering Planalto Palace only two days after the parley.

There’s no report on whether the government will fly the Mundurukus back home (1,000 miles/1,600 kilometers away) where they will surely reoccupy the construction site. The government is caught between what is called a rock & a hard place: do they want them obstructing dam construction or obstructing government? It might be wisest for the government to surrender now.

(Photo by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

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