Belo Monte :
Chief Raoni's petition

Now 502905 signatures.


Brazil according to Dilma Rousseff: an economic dictatorship in opened war against the defenders of Amazonia ?

Brazil according to Dilma Rousseff: an economic dictatorship in opened war against the defenders of Amazonia ?

Brazil is now defying the international community, deliberately infringing the Human Rights registered in its constitution and in the international treaties Brazil has ratified. French firms which are partners in the economic development of Brazil take part in fact to these exactions. These dealings, which sully the reputation of France, the nation of the human rights, and which put Brazil on the side of dictatorships, have to stop now.

Almost two months ago, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil received the Summit of United Nations for Sustainable Development. Disappointment for the whole world, Rio+20 came to a text without any ambition. The Earth Summit hold 20 years ago is already far. Funding are struggling to be released, no country imposes its leadership in the aim to negotiate an agreement at the level of the stakes. Europe, caught in the crisis of the Euro zone, is unable to weight up on the negotiations.

Yet, Dilma Rousseff, the President of Brazil, announced then at the tribune: “We are meeting in Rio de Janeiro to realize ambitious advances, to show courage, to assume responsibilities. We are here because the World requires a change.” Noble words but actions are contradicting them, because for various months in the Para State of Brazil, in the deepest Amazonia, and far from the spotlights, a war is taking place, whose purpose is the destruction of the still virgin forest and river landscapes, along with the loss of the earth rights of their guardians, the native people living here. And, it is the very President of Brazil who declared this war against native peoples of Xingu, using force to impose the construction of the hydro electrical power station of Belo Monte, a huge complex of barrages which should be, once built, the third biggest in the world.
Belo Monte is the Trojan Horse of an irresponsible exploitation of the Amazonian forest, the ecological and climatic role of which is a major one for all mankind. To develop its energy potential and to comfort its place into the private circle of the worldwide great powers, Brazil decided to build up to 60 barrages on the Amazonian tributaries with the ambition, we are told, to supply big southern towns with electricity, but, in fact, mainly to supply mining firms.
In this wild rush, Belo Monte, « shop window » of Rousseff’s administration, seems to be the ideal solution since it is supposed, they tell us, to produce « clean » energy. The reality is quite different: its construction, which started one year ago, would eventually swallow more than 668 km², including 400 km² of primary forests, thus producing huge quantities of methan (whose greenhouse effects are at least 25 times higher than those of CO2). It would oust more than 20 000 persons and upset the way of life of at least 24 native people, because of the rarefaction of food crops: a short-term ethnocide.

Since 1998, Brazil engaged itself to recognize the Amerindian lands, to demarcate them and to protect them. It had been helped by G7 countries, through the most ambitious international program of environmental protection never conceived, officially started during the Earth Summit of Rio in 1992. The country has also committed itself towards the international community to consult these populations whenever projects on their land could affect them. But the complex of barrages of Belo Monte questioned all of these established principles: the native people have not been consulted before the starting of the works. These statements of facts are now recognized and criticized by the United Nations which admonished Brazil in 2009. The Interamerican Commission of Human Rights, the International Organization of Work, the Brazilian federal Court, all of them required Brazil to take over its copy, to honor its commitments and particularly to consult first the native populations. In answer, Brazil practices the policy of the empty chair when, summoned to Washington, it repatriates his ambassador and it appoints judges to quash any finding contrary to its interests.

Meanwhile, deforestation is raging to make way for extensive agriculture, an ecological disaster which robs indigenous peoples' land rights and literally puts in danger their traditional ways of life.

Hope. On the 14th of August 2012, an historical decision of the federal regional court of the first region, done at unanimity of the present judges, invalidates the license of hydro electrical barrages of Belo Monte and Tele Pires. The authorization of building, given by the National Congress has been declared illegal because of non-realized previous consultations for the native populations which are affected by the barrage. The stop of the site building is required for the same day, under penalties of 200 000 Euros per day. Justice, safeguard of democracy, talked. The notice goes round the world and the ONGs give notice of the event with the necessary prudence. All locks, constitutional and legal, supposed to prevent the project have already been hooked in the past by the Rousseff administration. Will it be different today after the speech of Rio +20, now that the Football World Cup and the Rio Olympics are looming and the mobilization against Belo Monte is globalized?

Rage. On the 28th of August 2012, the resistant people received confirmation that they don’t have to hope anything from the justice of their country, that they’re not allowed to feel at the same time native and fully Brazilian in a country which, after a long military experience, is inaugurating a new type of dictatorship, cleverly disguised under the adornments of an emergent economical power. Actually, the President of the Supreme Court Ayres Britto is authorizing the restarting of the construction of Belo Monte and, thus, suspends the ruling of the 13th of August, without any previous inquiry and at the request of the Brazilian government. Being effective on the 23th of August in the evening, the paralysis of the building site, after months of juridical wrestles, will have gone on four days, two of them being working days if we take the week-end in consideration. All this for that result? On the 4th of September, it is the turn of the Federal Public Ministry to ask the President of the Supreme Court to reconsider his position. The Attorney General, Roberto Gurgel, and the Vice-Attorney General, Deborah Duprah, remind that the Amerindians should have been consulted by the National Congress before the beginning of Belo Monte. Will they be heard?

Even worse, disconcerting information adds trouble and gives less credibility to the determination of the Brazilian state: Belo Sun Mining Corporation, a Canadian firm, is ready to exploit a newly discovered gold deposit at 15 km away from the Belo Monte complex of barrages. The environmental impact report of the project reveals us that the biggest project of gold exploitation will be supplied by… Belo Monte! D Is the hydro electrical power plant really planned to deliver energy for the southern towns? It is hard to believe when you observe the dramatic history of the Amazonian industrialization during the last forty years.

Native people, ecologist or human right protection associations and movements, all of denounce a sham. The international and civil Brazilian society (Movimento Gota d’Agua, Movimento Xingu, Vivo Para Sempre, Avaaz, Amazon Watch, Planète Amazone…) demonstrated, set up a petition… all in vain. So the works have resumed as if nothing had occurred, and in the quasi general indifference. However, this event is the mark of Brazil taking a shift towards a kind of economical authoritarianism which is reminiscent of Putin's Russia or China awaking during this early twenty-first century.

People of the World played their future at Rio+20, native people play their life in the State of Para. As if the cup was not full enough, this denial of justice is completed with what can without exaggeration be described as a true persecution of Dilma Rousseff’s Brazil against the indigenous peoples of the country she leads. The Brazilian government have issued this month Order 303 which makes provision, according to the highest interests of the State, for reducing the boundaries of the hard-won indigenous lands, is giving priority to industrial projects on the right of these menaced peoples to own their land. In the same time, Brazil wishes to reform its 1965 Forest Code in order to permit the appropriation of native lands by small farmers who could then resell them to the big food firms. The authors of illegal settlements in native territories wouldn’t be expropriated but amnestied. An invitation for all those who covet the native lands. Did you say “proof of courage” and “assume your responsibilities”?

The opposition at the construction of the complex of barrages of Belo Monte is not a wrestling among others. This is the reason why citizens of the whole world are everyday more and more numerous to express their indignation against the President Dilma Roussef’s stubbornness to carry on at any cost this run down project, the collateral damages of which will weigh heavily on the future generations. Belo Monte is a symbol because it attacks the heart of the Amazonian forest, the “green lung” of our planet, natural bastion against climatic changes, and the people of Cacique Kayapo Raoni, figurehead of the battle to preserve the Amazonian forest during more than 40 years. A symbol because Dilma Roussef tries to impose it at a moment when Humanity stands at the crossroads, when we already know that the destruction of indispensable ecosystems and environments is a suicidal way for mankind. A symbol because it puts brutally in confrontation two models of development: the one of our civilization and the one of the native peoples, a profitable and clever cohabitation for all of us is an option. The project Belo Monte raises an essential question: what could be the place of Nature and Life in the societal and economic scheme of Humanity in the XXIst century?

The developed countries are the accomplices of this backtracking of the right in Brazil. We actively take part at the transgression of the human rights in this country when we permit that European firms sign contracts with the Brazilian state. Nowadays, Alstom, GDF Suez, Voith-Siemens and Andritz are partners of projects of barrages in Amazonia, among them huge barrages which can’t be considered as green power supplies. The State is sometimes shareholder in these firms and invests the money of our taxes to destroy Amazonia and its peoples. We can’t stay silent and wait the UN diplomatic ballet to make its slow and precious work of safeguard under the cover of the shade.

We think that the French government have to firmly condemn the attitude of Brazil and to denounce this muzzled justice in the service of short term economic profit.

We think that the French government have the duty not to engage its public funds in projects which flout Human Rights and destroy ecosystems which prove vital and irreplaceable for our commune future.

Now, more than ever, people have to take responsibility for their destiny. We, French citizens, must not forget that we are European citizens and world citizens. So, we have to be ready to boycott French, European or other firms which are accomplices in these dealings. As consumers, we have for example the possibility of choosing our domestic power suppliers, of insisting on an irreproachable traceability for the wood what we use, for the soya, for the meat, for the leather, for the aluminum and for the oil palm imported from Amazonia and that we consume, often without our knowledge (all of these products being the main factors of deforestation).

Because the President Dilma Rousseff is transforming the Brazilian democracy into an economic dictatorship which crushes Man and Nature, some people already call the French sportsmen to consider a boycott of the World Football Championship in 2014 and of the Olympic Games in 2016, both planned to take place in Rio de Janeiro, if the sixth power of the planet does not change its policy before these events. In any case, we think it is necessary to take from now concrete measurements in our daily life and cease our participation to this planned killing of Amazonia and its people.
If we don’t want the Brazil Amerindians to become the Amazonian Tibetans, and the “Earth lung” the cancer of our civilization.



No Níger, país africano castigado pelas secas, crianças deixam de frequentar a escola para procurar água.

IMAGE: Chief Raoni and 500 native repressed at Rio +20
War cry - A kind of human wall formed of 120 military and police equipped with shields, gas masks, grenades and helmets prevent a group of 500 Indians, armed with arrows, spears and clubs, from joining the secured area Riocentro where is the Rio+20 summit of the Heads of State takes place. The confrontation did not take place. Probably intimidated by the military, the Indians preferred to sit in front of the barrier. Led by Chief Raoni, of the Kayapo tribe, they abandoned their invasion plan (...) the Secretary General of the Presidency, Gilberto Carvalho, having succeeded in cooling down the situation.


translation : Anthony Bahuaud

Date : 10/10/2012