Open Letter from the Parakanã people (Indigenous Peoples protest at Belo Monte dam construction site – Indigenous land invasion, BRAZIL)Wednesday, September 18th, 2013
Earth Peoples received the scanned original letter from Brazilian NGO FAOR, which was forwarded to us by German based NGO ASW
(Non-official translation by Earth Peoples)
To read original in Portuguese click here
Since the 12th of September 2013, about 100 indigenous people, from indigenous nations Parakanã and Juruna are occupying the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Dam at the Pimental site. The occupiers demand implementation of the Norte Energia indigenous peoples provisions, (legal conditions that the dam’s consortium Norte Energia must abide to in regards to Indigenous Peoples and their territories affected by the dam): The removal from the invaders of IT (indigenous territory) Apiterewa and Paquiçamba, and the demarcation of (indigenous territory) Cachoeira Seca. Read the announcement of the occupation:
Open Letter from the Parakanã people
We got tired of waiting. The Parakanã people, from the indigenous territory Apyterewa located in the state of Pará, communicate to the federal government and to Norte Energia that we are tired of waiting that you solve the problem of our land. Since a long time, Apyterewa is being invaded by farmers, squatters, miners, loggers and settlers who are destroying our traditional territory, preventing us from hunting, farming, caring for our children and threatening our people.
For a long time we are told by the government that it would remove the white invaders and return our land to us, so that our people can live in peace. The government wanted to build Belo Monte and said it would solve the problem of our land before the construction of the dam, and (placed that promise as ) a condition of the (Belo Monte dam construction) license. We believed it, but the government lied. The Belo Monte dam is almost finalized, but our traditional territory continues to be invaded by whites (non-indigenous). We no longer believe in the government, because the government does not fulfill its own laws, does not comply with the conditions that it had put in place for Norte Energia to build Belo Monte.
The government is not concerned about our territory, is not concerned with indigenous peoples, is not concerned with our suffering, but is only concerned with Belo Monte. The Juruna of Paquiçamba , the Arara of Volta Grande (the Big Bend) and the Arara of Cachoeira Seca are also hurting without their territory, and we worry for our people/relatives, but the federal government does not care. Our rights are being infringed upon, but no one takes any measures to address them. So we, men, Elders, women and children, are tired of waiting for the good will of the federal government and occupy the construction site of the Belo Monte.
We occupy the site because the dam’s construction should only be happening if our land was already free of invaders and returned to our people, which is one of the conditional legal constraints to begin building Belo Monte. So, as long as our issues and problems regarding our territory have not been solved by the federal government, Belo Monte has to stop. And we’ll stop Belo Monte until the federal government will solve the problem of our land. We’re not here to ask for anything from Norte Energia. The Norte Energia “Belo Monte hydroelectric dam ”consortium also lied a lot, and owes a lot to our people as well, but today we’re not here to talk, nor to negotiate with Norte Energia.
We demand to meet and talk with representatives of the federal government, with the Minister of the General Secretariat of the Presidency, the Minister of the Civil office, the minister of justice, the president of Incra, as well as the president of Funai (Buerau of Indian Affairs-Brazil), to demand that you meet your obligations to return our traditional territory free of invaders. We want you to send the federal police to remove the whites’ that are destroying our land. But, if you are instead sending the police to remove us (protesters) from the construction site, we’ll rather die right her at the construction site of Belo Monte.
Because – without our territory, we have no life.
Altamira , September 12, 2013