Hydropower plant violates rights of indigenous peoples on Teles Pires river

Organizations condemn violations and call for measures from the federal government

Civil society organizations condemned the rights violations of indigenous peoples that live in the proximity of the Teles Pires river, on the border between the states of Mato Grosso and Pará, where four hydropower plants are being built. In a public statement, the organizations called on the federal government to take the appropriate measures.
Local communities have been denouncing abuses since 2011. The latest development was a decision by the recently-created Public Security Ministry, on March 1, to extend the presence of the National Security Forces on the construction sites of the plants, under the allegation that the Munduruku indigenous peoples represent a threat to “public order”. According to the organizations, the companies responsible for the construction have disrespected environmental legislation.

“The complex of hydropower plants on the Teles Pires river has already destroyed two important sacred sites of the Munduruku people, causing irreparable damage to the spiritual heritage of the indigenous communities in the region,” said the signatories of the statement.

As a result of this situation, the organizations called for the immediate removal of the National Security Forces and the resumption of dialogue with the Munduruku people. They also requested – among other things – for a field inspection to be conducted by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, the environmental watchdog Ibama, the National Indian Foundation (Funai) and the National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute (Iphan) in conjunction with indigenous leaders and independent experts to verify the environmental and social consequences of the hydropower plants.

The public statement was drafted by the Working Group on Infrastructure, which is formed by a number of environmental and social organizations. It was published on March 9 and signed by Conectas and another twenty partner organizations.


• Click here to read the statement in full.

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