Published on 24th February 2015

The River Runs Through Us

  • March 20, 2014. Indigenous leaders from the Xingu Basin meet with Norte Energia, the consortium building the Belo Monte Dam, to formalize the commitment that defines the responsibilities of the State and entrepreneur with the indigenous peoples affected by the dam. The agreement is a legal obligation for the Dam to operate, and there was anticipation that this would be a historic meeting, but the company postponed the signing to a later date.

  • A boy swims in the river at Morro Verge on the Iriri Extractavist reserve in the Xingu Basin. Extractavists are the descendants of Rubber Tapers who came to the forests generations ago during Brazil's Rubber Boom. Days away by boat from the city of Altamira, they live along the river banks with an economy based on harvesting sustainable natural products such as rubber, nuts, and oils. The Iriri river was planned to be dammed as part of the original Belo Monte complex proposed in the 1980's. Many believe that once the first dams are complete the government will build the supporting dams to increase year round efficiency.

  • December 11, 2014. A spider monkey is hunted for food by the Munduruku indigenous people of the village of Sawre Muybu. The Munduruku are currently fighting against government plans to construct a number of hydroelectric dams on the Tapajos River in the Amazon rainforest that would flood much of their traditional lands in Para State, Brazil. Brazil is planning to build over 60 new Dams in the Amazon Rainforest. The dams are part of Brazil's Growth Acceleration Program (PAC), which also includes a rapid expansion of mining in the gold rich region.

  • NOVEMBER 26, 2014. Members of the Munduruku indigenous tribe are seen on the Tapajos River in preparation for a protest against plans to construct a series of hydroelectric dams on the river in the Amazon rainforest in Para State, Brazil. The tribe members used the rocks to write 'Tapajos Livre' (Free Tapajos) in a large message in the sand in an action in coordination with Greenpeace. The Munduruku live traditionally along the river and depend on fishing and the river system for their livelihood. The Brazilian government is planning to build a series of dams in the region that will flood indigenous lands and national parks including Munduruku villages. Brazil is planning over 60 Dams for the Amazon Rainforest. The dams are part of Brazil's Growth Acceleration Program (PAC), which also includes a rapid expansion of mining in the Amazon.

  • December 11, 2014. Munduruku women bathe and do laundry in a creek by the village of Sawre Muybu. The Munduruku are currently fighting against government plans to construct a number of hydroelectric dams on the Tapajos River in the Amazon rainforest that would flood much of their traditional lands in Para State, Brazil. Brazil is planning to build over 60 new Dams in the Amazon Rainforest. The dams are part of Brazil's Growth Acceleration Program (PAC), which also includes a rapid expansion of mining in the gold rich region.

  • March 2, 2014. Youth swim on the Xingu River in the city of Altamira, Para State, Brazil. One third of the city will be permanently flooded once construction of the nearby Belo Monte Dam is complete. Belo Monte will be the third largest hydroelectric complex in the world. It is currently the largest infrastructure project in South America and is one of 60 planned dams for Brazil's Amazon.

  • NOVEMBER 26, 2014. A member of the Munduruku indigenous tribe carries rocks on the Tapajos River in preparation for a protest against plans to construct a series of hydroelectric dams on the river in the Amazon rainforest in Para State, Brazil. The tribe members used the rocks to write 'Tapajos Livre' (Free Tapajos) in a large message in the sand in an action in coordination with Greenpeace. The Munduruku live traditionally along the river and depend on fishing and the river system for their livelihood. The Brazilian government is planning to build a series of dams in the region that will flood indigenous lands and national parks including Munduruku villages. Brazil is planning over 60 Dams for the Amazon Rainforest. The dams are part of Brazil's Growth Acceleration Program (PAC), which also includes a rapid expansion of mining in the Amazon.

  • March 28, 2014. A group of boys climb a tree on the Xingu River near the city of Altamira, Para State, Brazil. One third of the city will be permanently flooded once construction of the nearby Belo Monte Dam is complete. Belo Monte will be the third largest hydroelectric complex in the world.

  • Feb 19, 2014. A child from the Xikrin village of "Pot crô" jumps into the Rio Bacaja, its name meaning "the water that runs in river is the same as the blood that flows through our veins." The Bacaja is a tributary of the Xingu River. The Bacaja which the Xikrin depend upon for fish and transportation, will severely dry up after the dam is completed.

  • Feb 20, 2014. A child from the Xikrin village of "Pot crô" stands for a photo on the banks of the Rio Bacaja, its name meaning "the water that runs in river is the same as the blood that flows through our veins." The Xikrin are a warrior tribe that have strongly resisted the dam. In 2012 an "Emergency Plan" put in place by the government and Norte Energia, the company building the Belo Monte Dam, involved giving the regional tribes material bribes, including satellite dishes, flat screen TVs, food, boats and motors and even cars. The plan has been seen as a disaster as in a short period of time, tribes became dependent on the outside world. The Bacaja, a tributary of the Xingu River which the people depend upon for fish and transportation, will severely dry up after the dam is completed and will most likely destroy the independence of the Xikrin people.

  • December 4, 2014. An Extractavist family from the traditional riparian village of Mangabal on the Tapajos River. Extractavists are the descendants of Rubber Tapers who came to the forests generations ago during Brazils Rubber Boom. The village is threatened by the construction of a major hydroelectric project on that would flood their land forcing them to move out of the forest and into the nearby city of Itaituba.

  • March 18, 2014. Executives from Norte Energia, the consortium building the Belo Monte Dam, stand behind National Force soldiers during a negotiation with a group of fisherman who have occupied the entrance to the Belo Monte construction site to protest the impacts to their waters, fish and livelihoods. The delayed construction caused by protests a partially to blame for the large cost overruns of the dam.

  • NOVEMBER 27, 2014. A headdress and bow and arrow of the Munduruku indigenous tribe is placed on the beach of São Luiz do Tapajós during the 'Caravan of Resistance' protest against government plans to construct a series of hydroelectric dams that will flood their traditional lands on the Tapajos river in the Amazon rainforest in Para State, Brazil. Brazil is planning over 60 new dams for the Amazon Basin.

  • March 2014. Mutton birds are seen on at Rio Novo on the Iriri Extractavist reserve in the Xingu Basin. Extractavists are the descendants of Rubber Tapers who came to the forests generations ago during Brazil's Rubber Boom. Days away by boat from the city of Altamira, they live along the river banks with an economy based on harvesting sustainable natural products such as rubber, nuts, and oils. Many of the Dam's impacts will be indirect to the Extractavists, such as commercial fisherman who now need to travel further away from the impacted Xingu, are beginning to over fish the rivers these people depend upon for food.

  • March 4, 2014. Residents of the city of Altamira who currently live along the river will be resettled here in the Norte Energia funded district of Jatoba due to permanent flooding of their neighbourhoods caused by the Belo Monte Dam. One third of the city or Altamira will be permanently flooded by Belo Monte.