Kenneth Rapoza – Forbes, 01/19/2012
Brazil’s massive Belo Monte hydroelectric power project is arguably the most hated government project in the world. Although opposition to the dam remains more international than local, a group of fisherman and tribal members of the Xingu River Lives Movement rowed up and down the river on Wednesday to block construction workers from initial phase construction of the mega-dam.
The protestors arrived at the dam site by boat, unfurling banners in front of temporary, dirt dams known as coffer dams with slogans like “Belo Monte: crime of the Federal Government”, people involved in the protests said. They blocked the movement of workers and machinery, disrupting construction of the 11,200 megawatt dam for over two hours. No arrests or violence were reported.
“Despite the criminal operations that are Belo Monte, where the Brazilian government is spending billions to devastate the Xingu while creating a situation of complete chaos among local communities, we will continue to resist this monstrosity and work to call attention of the Brazilian public and the world that this wanton destruction of the Amazon will hurt us all,” said Antônia Melo, coordinator of the Xingu Vivo movement. “To take away the river is to take away the life of its people, because water is life.”