Belo Monte :
Chief Raoni's petition

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Chief Raoni and the President of the French Senate, Jean-Pierre Bel in Paris, on December 6th, 2012 © John Van Hasselt

"AMAZON EMERGENCY", a Planète Amazone campaign, in partnership with the Instituto Raoni
On November 29th 2012, Chief Raoni Metuktire, Chief Megaron Txucarramae, Bemoro Metuktire, three major Indian representatives from Brazil (Kayapo people), encompassing three generations, were received by the President of the Republic, with eco-activist Nicolas Hulot and Gert-Perter Bruch (president of Planète Amazone). François Hollande is now the third president, after François Mitterand and Jacques Chirac, to welcome the great Indian Chief at the Elysée palace. It was an opportunity to trace nearly a quarter of a century of diplomatic meetings between the highest French authorities and the most famous indigenous spokesman of the planet.

During that meeting, recreating a bond undone under Mr Sarkozy's presidency, several documents were given to the president, including a joint declaration from the indigenous Amazon peoples, prepared during the Rio +20 summit in June 2012 for the attending Heads of State. Here is the introduction:

« We, over 1800 leaders, representing the indigenous peoples and organisations present, APIB – Brazilian Indigenous Peoples' Coordination (COIAB, APOINME, ARPINSUL, ARPINSUDESTE, indigenous peoples of Southern Mato Grosso and Aty Guasu) ,- COICA- Coordination of the Amazon Indigenous Organizations, - CAOI – Andean Coordination of Indigenous Organizations, CICA, - Indigenous Council of Central America -, and CCNAGUA – Continental Council of the Guarani Nation - and the representatives of different parts of the world, are together at the 9th Free Land Camp of the Peoples' Summit, a meeting between social organizations and movements held in conjunction with the United Nations Conference for Sustainable Development (Rio +20).

After intensive debate and discussions between June 15 and 22 on the different problems we are facing, such as the violation of fundamental and collective rights of our peoples, we claim in one voice to governments, corporations and society as a whole, our indignation and our refusal of the turmoil that is shaking the whole planet and humankind (financial, environmental, energy, food and social crises), resulting from the neo-developmental and predatory model that emphasizes the commodization and financialisation process of our Mother Nature's life (...)"

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CHIEF RAONI : launch of the "AMAZON EMERGENCY" campaign - episode 8
- Press conference in Paris, Grenier des grands Augustins (atelier Picasso), 30/11/2012 -
Speech of Cacique Megaron Txucarramãe, Leader of the Kayapo people


Directed by James Amon for Amonimage Productions
On camera : James Amon,  Christophe Chauprade, Christophe Palluel, Mathieu Roger.


"AMAZON EMERGENCY", contributors in the press conference on November 30, 2012 at Grenier des Grands Augustins (Atelier Picasso), Paris: Raoni Metuktire, Megaron Txucarramãe, Bemoro Metuktire, Nicolas Hulot, Gert-Peter Bruch (Planète Amazone), Philippe Desbrosses (Intelligence Verte), Jan Kounen, Frédéric Amiel (Greenpeace France), Ronak Monabay (Les Amis de la Terre) / translation: Arkan Simaan, Marcia Bechara and Cecilia Gutel.



Excerpt from the "AMAZON EMERGENCY" campaign press kit :




Chief Raoni’s diplomatic meeting schedule in France



Iconic figure of the struggle for the preservation of the rainforest and its autochtonous inhabitants, Chief Raoni Metuktire (Brazil), has had close ties with the highest French authorities for almost a quarter of a century. Summary :


  • April 11th, 1989 : President François Mitterrand is the first Head of State to welcome Chief Raoni on his arrival in France, in the presence of the English singer Sting, in spite of diplomatic pressure from the Brazilian government (under José Sarney’s presidency). It is the first time Chief Raoni is leaving his territory. Under the pressure of the media, President Sarnet pays lip service to Chief Raoni’s plan aiming at collecting international funds to delimitate the Kayapo people’s unprotected territories; once attached to other already existing reserves in the Xingu region (Mato Grosso State), they will become the largest rainforest reserve in the world (184,000km2, about one third of the surface of France). Chief Raoni asks President Mitterrand to help him save his and other indigenous peoples' lands. The French Head of State promises the Chief "to do everything he can to help him." He will plead his case with the other G7 countries.

    April 13th, 1989, Chief Raoni is also received by Brice Lalonde, Secretary of State for the Environment and Jacques Chirac, Mayor of Paris.

    The appointment granted by President Mitterrand opens the doors of the governements of the other countries Chief Raoni visits during that first international awareness campaign. A tremendous popular success, it allows Chief Raoni to launch his appeal for the protection of the rainforest and its peoples in a number of countries: France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, England, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Spain, the United States, Japan, Australia and Brazil.

  • July 9th-11th, 1990 : the pilot programme of protection of the Brazilian rainforest -PPG-7 - comes to birth in the wake of the Houston G7 Summit, under the leadership of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and President Mitterrand and in close partnership between the Brazilian government, the Brazilian civil society and the international community. The demarcation of indigenous lands in the rainforest is built into the PPTAL sub-project. Once this project carried out, 70 territories will have been identified and 115 more delineated, a total of about 40 million hectares of protected lands.

    The programme is launched in June 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and the first projects approved in 1994. In October 2005, funding commitments represent over 350 million euros, 85% from community partners (European Community - 64 milion euros -, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy and France). PPG-7 is the most important international cooperation programme to address a global environmental problem.

  • May 9th, 2000 : President Jacques Chirac welcomes Chief Raoni at the Elysée Palace. He provides French support to his "Instituto Raoni" project. That long-term and autonomous experimental initiative aims at helping the Xingu peoples preserve the indigenous territories unified and delineated thanks to the 1989 campaign but still the target of uncontrolled invasions.

    May 5th of the same year, the Cacique is received by the Minister of Ecology, Dominique Voynet.

    Jacques Chirac pleads Chief Raoni's case at the Okinawa G8 Summit (21-23 July 2000). He also calls upon the European Union for what he defines as "an important project for the preservation of the Amazon rainforest".

  • June 7th, 2001 : Chief Raoni is received by President Jacques Chirac at the Elysée Palace for the official handover of the feasibility study of the Raoni Institute.

    The Head of State stands up for Chief Raoni's project at the Genoa G8 Summit (20-22 July 2001).

  • November 26th, 2002 : Chief Raoni is received by Renaud Muselier, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs. The situation of the Raoni Institute and its projects are discussed during the meeting. Mr Muselier asserts that France, after having funded the feasibility project, will continue providing technical support to the Institute.

  • September 7th, 2009 : President Nicolas Sarkozy meets Chief Raoni at the French embassy in Brasilia. The Kayapo leader informs the French Head of State of his intention of launching, in the spring of 2010, a new awareness campaign from France as a result of the invasion of indigenous territories. Nicolas Sarkozy promises to receive him upon his arrival and to help him.

  • May 2010 : Chief Raoni is in Paris to raise awareness about the invasion of his lands and the forthcoming construction of the Belo Monte dam. A meeting with President Sarkozy is planned. Appointed by the major representatives of the Xingu peoples, the Chief is to ask the Head of State for his support and give him a message. He also intends to revive his Raoni Institute project. Publicized through the major media, the interview fails to occur.

    Jacques Chirac confirms his support to his friend Chief Raoni and sponsors his Intitute through his Chirac Foundation. The Chief also meets with Alain Juppé, Mayor of Bordeaux.

  • November 29th, 2012 : Chief Raoni and two representatives of the Kayapo people are received at the Elysée Palace by François Hollande, President of the Republic. The Free Land Camp declaration, written up by indigenous representatives of Amazonia at the Rio+20 Peoples' Summit, is given to the President, who promises to give a copy to Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil, expected for an official visit in Paris ten days later. Chief Raoni asks France to help him protect the Kayapo territories in jeopardy.

    On November 30th, the "AMAZON EMERGENCY" campaign is officially launched: almost a quarter of a century following his first call upon the international community, Chief Raoni recaps his action in his final European awareness campaign. In their presence, he announces that his nephew, Megaron Txucarramae and his grandnephew, Bemoro Metuktire, will take over his mission for the preservation of the Amazon rainforest.

    Chief Raoni's delegation is received on December 6th by Jean-Pierre Bel, President of the Senate.




Read also our news articles:  

President Hollande welcomes Amazon tribal leader to Elysée

Paris - Chief Raoni achieves his last trip to France 


- Translated from French into English by Nadia Kadry -


Planète Amazone (Amazon Planet), a french Non-Governmental Organization dedicated to the protection of tropical forests and its peoples, reflects in particular in Europe and the world, the fights of Cacique Raoni through its official website and targeted actions.


Date : 07/03/2013

Author : Gert-Peter BRUCH