Tag Archives: brazil

Why Hundreds of Thousands are Demonstrating in the Streets of Brazil

20 Jun
 Protesters fill the streets of Rio de Janeiro.

Protesters fill the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Photo

by Rodrigo Nunes / Al Jazeera

Brazil has been roiled by protests in recent weeks. At first, tens of thousands of people took to the streets across the country to protest bus and subway fare hikes and demand free public transportation.

Rather than scare people off, the heavy-handed police reaction helped stir things up. In Sao Paulo alone, 235 people were arrested last Thursday – many for carrying vinegar to minimise the effects of tear gas. Reports abounded of police brutality and provocation, including a policeman caught on camera vandalising his own vehicle.

Brazil’s corporate media, which until then had vilified demonstrators and called for forceful policing, changed its tune when seven journalists working for one of the country’s biggest newspapers were hurt. Two of them were shot in the face with rubber bullets. Protesters went home chanting: “Tomorrow it will be bigger.”

Indeed it was bigger. Continue reading

Brazilian Tribe Reoccupies Farm After Deadly Clash

1 Jun

from BBC

Hundreds of indigenous Brazilians have re-occupied a ranch in the western state of Mato Grosso do Sul.

The Terena indigenous group says the ranch, which belongs to a local politician, lies on their ancestral land.

On Thursday one of their members was shot as police evicted the group from the site, which it had occupied for two weeks.

The police said the Terena had attacked them with bows and arrows.

The officers say they were executing a court order to evict the group but the Indians reacted violently to their approach.

Federal police spokesman Francisco Moraes said the group returned to the ranch on Friday.

Mr Moraes said the situation continued to be “tense”, but that there had been no violent incidents since the re-occupations started.

Indigenous activists say farmers in Mato Grosso do Sul frequently use violence and threats to force them off their ancestral territory, and that the local authorities do little to protect them.

The state, which borders Bolivia and Paraguay, is one of the main soya producers in Brazil.

Update From the Amazon: No Consultation, No Construction!

31 May

Posted from International Rivers

Indigenous protesters are once again occupying the construction site of the Belo Monte Dam in the Brazilian Amazon to shed light on how hydroelectric mega-dams cause serious environmental and social impacts and destroy the way of life of the region’s peoples and traditional communities. For example, the construction of Belo Monte will cause 100 km (60 miles) of the Xingu to dry out on the river’s Big Bend if completed. In the case of the hydroelectric dams planned for the Tapajós River, the ancient riverside villages of the Mundurukú people would be completely flooded.

Indigenous protesters occupied the Belo Monte Dam construction site in early and late May 2013 to protest the government’s lack of consultation with affected communities thorugh out the Amazon.
Photo courtesy of Ruy Sposati via mundurukudenuncia on Flickr

This is the second occupation of Belo Monte’s construction site in less than a month. On May 2nd the indigenous protestors occupied the same work camp and stayed there for eight days. They left the last occupation peacefully because the federal government ensured that there would be a negotiation, which did not happen. In this case the protestors guarantee that they will maintain their occupation until representatives of the federal government talk with them and meet their demands.

Continue reading

Indigenous Peoples Stop Dam Construction With New Occupation at Belo Monte Site

2 May

Cross Posted from Amazon Watch:

Dam1

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.

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Extinction Explosion

21 Aug

Considered by many to have an intelligence that rivals humankind’s and otherworldly transformative evolution powers, the cuttlefish is among creatures slated for death in a sudden mass extinction of the worlds’ oceans.

Teetering on the dire precipice between existence and annihilation, time is running out for the Royal Bengal tiger, the Great White shark, and Victorian koalas.

There are reports that species in Brazil’s coastal rainforest are disappearing faster than scientists  can keep track of them. This is owed in part to the ripple effect of extinction, creatures toppling off the planet in a chain reaction.

But perhaps the most brutal and rapid decline is coming for the world’s oceans, with scientists predicting a cataclysmic period of mass extinction currently upon us, the ramifications for which will in turn be our own demise. From 1900-2010, freshwater fish species in North America went extinct at a rate 877 times faster than the rate found in the fossil record, while estimates indicate the rate may double between now and 2050.

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UN Environmental Summit opens in Rio de Janeiro

21 Jun

Indigenous people protest, as they carry a tree trunk to demonstrate their traditional sport, during a march at the People’s Summit at Rio+20 for Social and Environmental Justice in Rio de Janeiro June 20, 2012. The People’s Summit at Rio+20 for Social and Environmental Justice is a parallel event of the Rio+20 United Nations sustainable development summit. Photo from REUTERS/Ana Carolina Fernades found here

UN Meets with protests and People’s Summit for Social and Environmental Justice

Leaders from around the globe gathered Wednesday to open three days of talks at the United Nations conference on sustainable development, where a sober, unambitious mood prevailed as negotiators produced what critics called a watered-down document that makes few advances on protecting the environment.

Negotiators worked for months to hammer out a document that many hoped would lay out clear goals on how nations could promote sustainable development—making economic advances without eating up the globe’s resources.

But with time running out Continue reading

Indigenous and Environmental Groups set sail from Australia to protest offshore oil drilling

27 Mar

A flotilla of six boats sailed from Auckland Sunday to launch a protest against plans by a Brazilian oil company to drill for oil and gas off the East Cape of the North Island.

The protesters, including the Greenpeace environmental group, the Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society and an East Cape tribe of indigenous Maoris, said they feared potential damage from an oil spill like last year’s BP accident in the Gulf of Mexico.

The government announced in June that it had given Brazil’s Petrobras International Braspetro BV a 5-year exploration permit, covering 12,333 square kilometres of the Raukumara Basin.