By Todd Bensen and Asher Levine, June 18, 2013. Source: Reuters
Thousands of people protest in Sao Paulo on June 17, 2013. More than 200,000 people marched in major Brazilian cities to protest the billions of dollars spent on the Confederations Cup and higher public transport costs. Photo: Michael Schincariol/AFP
As many as 200,000 demonstrators marched through the streets of Brazil’s biggest cities on Monday in a swelling wave of protest tapping into widespread anger at poor public services, police violence and government corruption.
The marches, organized mostly through snowballing social media campaigns, blocked streets and halted traffic in more than a half-dozen cities, including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia, where demonstrators climbed onto the roof of Brazil’s Congress building and then stormed it.
Monday’s demonstrations were the latest in a flurry of protests in the past two weeks that have added to growing unease over Brazil’s sluggisheconomy, high inflation and a spurt in violent crime.
While most of the protests unfolded as a festive display of dissent, some demonstrators in Rio threw rocks at police, set fire to a parked car and vandalized the state assembly building. Vandals also destroyed property in the southern city of Porto Alegre. Continue reading
June 11, 2013. Source: WW4 Report
March on June 6th against the Belo Monte dam. Photo: Agência Brasil
Security guards shot and seriously injured an indigenous Terena, Josiel Gabriel Alves, on June 4 when a group of about 60 protesters tried to occupy the São Sebastião estate in Sidrolandia municipality in the southern Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Doctors said Gabriel might lose the use of his arms and legs. This was the second shooting in less than a week in an ongoing dispute over lands claimed by the Terena: Osiel Gabriel, Josiel Gabriel’s cousin, was killed by federal police on May 30 at a nearby estate. The Terena have been occupying several large estates in Sidrolandia since May 15; they say the estates are on land the federal government designated as indigenous territory in 2010. The 28,000 Terena live on just 20,000 hectares in Mato Grosso. (Adital, Brazil, June 5)
On June 6 Terena activists joined with representatives of the Munduruku indigenous group for protests at government offices in Brasilia. The Munduruku are among eight indigenous groups that have repeatedly occupied construction sites at the Belo Monte dam in the northern Brazilian state of Pará over the past year; the most recent occupation took place on May 28. The protests have held up work on the dam, which is projected to be the world’s third largest when completed. Some 140 Munduruku were in Brasilia for a meeting with Presidency Minister Gilberto Carvalho and other government officials on June 4. Valdenir Munduruku, a spokesperson for the group, told Brazilian media that the activists are demanding a complete halt of construction until indigenous people in the region have been consulted on the project, as required by International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 169. Brazil has signed on to the convention, which guarantees a number of rights for indigenous people, including the right to prior consultation on projects that will affect their communities. The Munduruku are threatening to resume the occupation if they aren’t satisfied with the results of negotiations. Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Green Economy, Hydroelectric dams, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Political Repression, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests, Water
By Anthony Boadle and Caroline Stauffer, June 4 2013. Source: Reuters
Munduruku Indians pass through a metal detector as they arrive for a meeting with the Minister of the General Secretariat of the Presidency, Gilberto Carvalho, at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, June 4, 2013. Photo: Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino
BRASILIA/SAO PAULO - President Dilma Rousseff’s government said on Tuesday it would send 110 federal troops to the Brazilian farm state of Mato Grosso do Sul to try to prevent more violence between Indians claiming their ancestral territory and ranchers.
The government has been struggling to defuse tensions with indigenous tribes over farmland in several states as well as over hydroelectric dams in the Amazon.
Tensions escalated in a disputed property in Mato Grosso do Sul that was invaded last week for a second time by Terena Indians angered by the fatal shooting of one of their tribe’s members. Local media said the man’s cousin was shot and injured on a nearby ranch on Tuesday.
“We must avoid radicalizing a situation that goes back a long way in Brazilian history,” Justice Minister Jose Cardozo told reporters after meeting lawmakers from Mato Grosso do Sul in Brasilia. Continue reading
May 3, 2013. Source: Intercontinental Cry
Photo: Amazon Watch
Altamira, Brazil – Some 200 indigenous people affected by the construction of large hydroelectric dams in the Amazon launched an occupation today on one of the main construction sites of the Belo Monte dam complex on the Xingu River in the Brazilian Amazon. The group demands that the Brazilian government adopt effective legislation on prior consultations with indigenous peoples regarding projects that affect their lands and livelihoods. As this has not happened, they are demanding the immediate suspension of construction, technical studies and police operations related to dams along the Xingu, Tapajos and Teles Pires rivers. Shock troops of the military police were awaiting indigenous protestors when they arrived at the Belo Monte dam site, but they were unable to impede the occupation.
The indigenous protestors include members of the Juruna, Kayapó, Xipaya, Kuruaya, Asurini, Parakanã, Arara tribes from the Xingu River, as well as warriors of the Munduruku, a large tribe from the neighboring Tapajós river basin. The indigenous peoples are joined by fishermen and local riverine communities from the Xingu region. Initial reports indicate that approximately 6,000 workers at one of the main Belo Monte construction sites, Pimental, have ceased operations as a result of the protest. The occupation, according to the indigenous communities, will continue indefinitely or until the federal government meets their demands. Continue reading
April 18, 2013. Source: Reuters
MAPUTO – Hundreds of protesters blocked the entrance to Vale’s biggest coal mine in Mozambique on Wednesday, saying the Brazilian mining giant had not paid them adequate compensation for relocating them five years ago.
Vale said the protest did not affect production but the rally underscored a lingering problem for the mining firm from poor Mozambicans angry at what they feel are heavy-handed tactics to move them in order to exploit coal deposits.
“All access to the company was blocked. The workers had to sneak out of smaller exits,” a Vale worker who asked not to be named told Reuters by phone.
The protest, which began on Tuesday, broke out after more than a year of negotiations between the company and the protesters, who were resettled in 2008 to make room for the Moatize coal mine in the northwest of the southern African country.
In January 2012, about 700 families resettled about 60 kms (40 miles) from the Moatize site protested against what they said was a lack of water, electricity and fertile agricultural land at their resettlement area.
Vale has said it managed relocations in a fair and equitable manner.
Vale and global mining giant Rio Tinto have invested heavily in the Moatize region, attracted by the 23 billion tonnes of coal estimated to sit there.
By John Ahni Schertow, April 18 2013. Source: Intercontinental Cry
Photo: Brasil de Fato
On Tuesday, April 16, approximately 700 indigenous representatives occupied the Brazilian House of Representatives in a last-ditch effort to stop the nomination process for the Special Committee on PEC 215.
Indigenous peoples throughout the country consider the proposal to be a great threat to the security of their rights, because it would hand down from the federal government to the National Congress the authority to approve the demarcation of traditional lands and ratify areas that have already been approved.
In an attempt to stop the occupation, police forces used tasers on at least one person, injuring the Executive Secretary of CIMI, Cleber Buzatto. The editor of CIMI’s publication Porantim, Renato Santana, who photographed the demonstration, was also beaten by several police officers, had his glasses destroyed and was dragged into the Legislature’s café. According to CIMI, Buzatto and Santana both filed a complaint in the police station of the Legislative Chamber.
Several Indigenous delegates also reported being physically assaulted by the security guards of the House. Continue reading
Note: View video here: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2013/04/201343195752352158.html
-The GJEP Team
April 3 2013. Source: Al Jazeera
Three suspected killers of a couple who protested illegal logging in the Brazilian Amazon have gone on trial.
Jose Claudio da Silva and his wife Maria do Espirito Santo had for years campaigned against loggers and ranchers who force slave labour to clear-cut large swaths of the Amazon.
The couple were killed in a May 2011 ambush near the Amazonian town of Maraba.
Antonio Filho, a member of Brazil’s Catholic Church-affiliated Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) who is monitoring the trial, said Wednesday’s trial would last until the following day.
Jose Rodrigues Moreira, the alleged mastermind of the attack, and the two alleged perpetrators Lindonjonson Silva Rocha and Alberto Lopes do Nascimento, were arrested in a jungle hideout 300 kilometers from Maraba in the northern state of Para after the attack. Continue reading
By Jonathan Watts, April 3 2013. Source: The Guardian
The São Luiz do Tapajós dam is the biggest of three planned facilities on the Tapajós river in the Amazon basin. Photo: Gerd Ludwig/Corbis
An Amazonian community has threatened to “go to war” with the Brazilian government after what they say is a military incursion into their land by dam builders.
The Munduruku indigenous group in Para state say they have been betrayed by the authorities, who are pushing ahead with plans to build a cascade of hydropower plants on the Tapajós river without their permission.
Public prosecutors, human rights groups, environmental organisations and Christian missionaries have condemned what they call the government’s strong-arm tactics.
According to witnesses in the area, helicopters, soldiers and armed police have been involved in Operation Tapajós, which aims to conduct an environmental impact assessment needed for the proposed construction of the 6,133MW São Luiz do Tapajós dam. Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Forests, Green Economy, Hydroelectric dams, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Political Repression, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests, Water
March 31, 2013. Source: World War 4 Report
An Amazonian indigenous group said to be the Earth’s most threatened tribe has sent an urgent appeal to Brazil’s government to evict invaders from their forest homeland. Despite a federal judge’s ruling that ordered Brazilian authorities to remove all invaders on Awá land by the end of March, not a single person has yet been evicted. The Awá are becoming increasingly desperate as illegal loggers close in on them and settlers encroach on their territory. In a rare video appeal to Brazil’s Minister of Justice, an Awá man said: “I am angry, very angry… The loggers come here and chop down the trees… The Minister of Justice in Brasília can help us here, now. He must help us now!”
Brazilian football fans have loaned their support for the tribe. At a March 3 soccer match with Russia in London, Brazilian fans demonstrated their support for the Awá by brandishing icons reading “Brazil: Save the Awá.” In a campaign led by UK-based Survival International, nearly 50,000 letters have been sent to the Brazilian government urging it to evict the invaders. Survival’s director Stephen Corry said: “It is a scandal that the Awá have been driven to such desperation. As they hear the chainsaws day and night in their forest, it seems to them that the judge’s ruling and the government’s promises have been forgotten. The Awá need action, now.” (Survival International, March 26)
In a similar case also in Maranhão state, the Pukobjê-Gavião in the indigenous reserve of Governador seized four trucks and a tractor as well as a large quantity of illegally felled timber to protest the enroachment of loggers on their territory. (Noticias Aliadas, March 7)
By Jonathan Watts, March 22, 2013. Source: The Guardian
A supporter of the indigenous community is arrested outside the Brazilian Indian museum in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Sergio Moraes/Reuters
Brazilian riot police armed with batons, teargas and pepper spray have forcibly evicted an indigenous community from a dilapidated museum complex next to the Maracanã football stadium.
The forced relocation, which led to scuffles, arrests and accusations of brutality, comes amid growing pressure on the hosts of the next World Cup to accelerate preparations that have fallen far behind schedule. Renovation of the stadium, which will host next year’s final, was supposed to have been completed at the end of last year, but there are doubts that it will be ready for a friendly between England and Brazil in June.
The museum has been the focus of a protracted legal battle between squatters, who claim the site should be used to promote indigenous culture, and the municipal authorities, who want to knock down a graffiti-covered eyesore and modernise the area before the world’s attention moves to Rio de Janeiro.
“We were negotiating, and then the government resorted to force,” said Urutau Guajajara, a bare-chested man wearing a feathered headdress who described himself as a professor of the Guajajara ethnic group. “The police were very violent.” Continue reading