Belo Monte :
Chief Raoni's petition

Now 502905 signatures.


Décember 10, 2012 - Chief Raoni in Geneva

Décember 10, 2012 - Chief Raoni in Geneva

© oneaction

Source :
On Monday december 12 2012, for the international day of human rights, OneAction attended a press conference held in Geneva with Kayapo Chiefs Raoni, Megaron and Bemoro Metuktire. These indigenous leaders exposed the urgent need to stop the industrial invasion in the Amazon basin by the notorious Belo Monte Dam, among others. This three-week “Amazon Emergency” campaign trip to Europe is their cry for help to save their indigenous territory from destruction, and for all to respect their legal right to conserve their traditional way of life in their homeland.

Chief Raoni first came to Geneva in the 1980s to defend his tribe against developers threatening to destroy his land. Still now, at age 82, he is determinedly persevering in his life-long fight. If the Belo Monte dam project is carried out as planned, it will be the world’s third largest hydroelectric dam complex, diverting 80 percent of the Xingu River, causing almost 700 km² of primarily forested land to flood. This will cause droughts and massive losses of natural resources that will directly affect the Kayapo people as well as many other indigenous groups. A Brazilian federal court even ruled that the Brazilian government has not respected the right of the indigenous tribes to be consulted prior to starting this project. Despite the many laws specifically designed to protect indigenous people – these can be found in the 1988 Brazilian constitution, in the International Labour Organization Convention 169 and in the UN Declaration on indigenous rights, – the government is blatantly ignoring the legal protections of tribes such as the Kayapo. Particularly threatening are Brazil’s Growth Acceleration Program, the 303 Decree and the Legislation Project No. 1610 that together threaten to open indigenous territories to the exploitation of primary material, to dams and to access by non-indigenous people.

During the press conference, Chief Megaron Metuktire revealed the growing violence that the police uses towards Kayapo women and children, and the murder of two journalists documenting illegal deforestation on their land. Members of other tribes who have already been evicted by developers have taken their own lives in tragic acts of desperation. The Kayapo people are one of several tribes that would be devastated by the industrial expansion in the Amazon Basin, and it is difficult for these various tribes to unite actively in this fight due to their lack of resources. Still, thanks to the important help of NGOs over the years, the Kayapo tribe has been able to sensitize the public to their cause and act as a representative voice of the communal fight of all Amazonian tribes.

In light of the giant pressures facing the Brazilian Amazon, Gert-Peter Bruch, representing the Planète Amazone association, called for three main routes of action to protect the Amazon Basin and its indigenous tribes. To start, NGOs must continue their lobbying efforts with governments and businesses; next, they must keep spreading awareness about Chief Raoni’s admirable fight. Thirdly, and maybe most importantly, there needs to be a true change in the current system of consumption. Planète Amazone asks each and every individual to become a conscious and responsible consumer to avoid supporting the industries that are directly responsible for the destruction of the Amazon, such as those that produce beef, soy and leather in an unsustainable manner.

The Director of OneAction, Jan Isler, and the Environmental Projects Manager, Christelle Siohan, conversed with all four members of the Kayapo tribe present about the road ahead. On behalf of OneAction, we offered Chief Raoni a Tibetan scarf as a symbol of peace, and a letter in which we shared our support for his honorable cause. Despite the profound distress we feel for the Kayapo people in their struggle, the tirelessness and powerful message of Chief Raoni, central to the fight to preserve the Amazon, has energized us in our efforts to protect the Amazon and South American forests with our Keep it Green projects.

© : original link

OneAction with Cacique Bemoro

Jan and Raoni

Date : 11/12/2012