Sixty indigenous leaders representing 16 villages sent a letter to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff spelling out their demands regarding the controversial Belo Monte Dam. An occupation of the construction site by hundreds of indigenous people who would be affected by the dam has been ongoing since June 21.
According to International Rivers:
“The demands of indigenous leaders, as communicated in the letter to President Rousseff and other Brazilian authorities include: the immediate suspension of the Installation License for Belo Monte; FUNAI and IBAMA to refrain from authorizing an extension of coffer dams on the Xingu River; and respect for the rights of indigenous peoples to free, prior and informed consultations about the Belo Monte project, in accordance with Article 231 of the Brazilian Constitution, ILO Convention 169, the Inter-American System of Human Rights and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“The letter concludes that ‘the current state of lawlessness is intolerable in a democratic society with respect for the rule of law. The government must act now to ensure respect for the law and democratic institutions that protect the rights of all Brazilians, especially those most threatened and impacted by Belo Monte.’