Norte Energia, S.A. (NESA), the company that was building the Belo Monte Dam until Brazil’s Federal District Court of the 1st Region shut them down, has issued an far-fetched statement claiming that no indigenous land will be directly affected by the dam and that indigenous people in the Xingu River region support Belo Monte. These claims, of course, could not be further from the truth.
Movimento Xingu Vivo para Sempre (Xingu Alive Forever Movement) – a coalition of indigenous peoples, local farmers, fisherfolk and others devoted to keeping the Xingu alive – has responded to Norte Energia’s words with the following public statement.
Original version in Portuguese: http://www.xinguvivo.org.br/2012/08/20/nota-publica-belo-monte-parou-as-mentiras-da-norte-energia-e-as-demandas-de-reversao-de-danos/
In the last week, Brazil’s Federal District Court of the 1st Region (Regional Federal Tribunal TRF1) voted to annul Legislative Decree 788 of 2005, which permitted the licensing and construction of the Belo Monte dam even before an environmental impact study (EIA) was conducted. The project is now stopped until impacted indigenous peoples are consulted by the National Congress – with power of veto – and the whole process of discussion of viability and authorization of the hydroelectric dam to be reinstated in accordance with the law.
The decision by the TRF1 partially upheld an appeal by the Federal Public Ministry and annulled one of the biggest affronts to the Federal Constitution and to the International Labor Organization Convention 169 committed by the Brazilian government in the last years, as clarified by Judge Antonio Souza Prudente, presiding over the process.
Still in the last week, in response to the Justice decision – classified as “inadmissible” by Norte Energia S. A. – the company released a statement which unravels a chain of incongruences. The company
In conclusion, the company makes illegal threats of retaliation by stating, as if speaking in behalf of the government, that the public financing of the Sustainable Regional Development Plan for Xingu (PDRSX), which is suppose to attend to 11 municipalities of the region impacted by Belo Monte, will be suspended.
This said, and in the context of the standstill of the hydroelectric dam, the Xingu Alive Forever Movement publicly demands from Norte Energia and from the government the following clarifications:
Considering that the decree that illegally authorized the construction of Belo Monte dam and its licenses was annulled, when will the following emergency measures be taken care of to reverse the main impacts suffered by affected communities and the environment?
The Xingu Alive Forever Movement compliments, congratulates and honors the decision of TRF1 and of Judge Antonio de Souza Prudente, for returning to the country a bit of faith in justice and in the premise that the Constitution has to be respected in default of economic and political interests.
We celebrate the halting of Belo Monte as a reaffirmation of the validity of our fight and of the thousands of supporters of environmental and human rights in Brazil and in the world. We will be mobilized to support and defend this historic decision of Justice, the Federal Constitution and the international commitments assumed by Brazil against all attacks that may suffer. But we consider that it is not enough to stop a crime; it is necessary to remedy and cure all the ills caused by it.
In name of life at Xingu, we call for justice now!
Movimento Xingu Vivo para Sempre (Movement Xingu Alive Forever)
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