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Story Publication logo July 2, 2019

Juruena Resists: A Historic Battle for a River (Portuguese)


An Indigenous Rikbaktsa woman cleaning on the banks of the Arinos River, north of Mato Grosso. Although the project of the Castanheira plant ensures that the various Indigenous lands, including the Apiaka, Rikibaktsa, Kaiabi, Munduruku and Tapajuna, would not be affected by the flood, the hydrographic alteration would leave the entire village deprived of resources it depends on so much for their subsistence food and for their sacred rituals.

A series of reports on the threats and resistance activities linked to the defence of the last river...

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Visão aérea de um trecho no rio dos Peixes onde se pode ver o contraste entre a área desmatada na margem não indígena do rio e a área preservada dentro da Terra Indígena na outra margem. Image by: Pablo Albarenga. Brazil, 2019.
Image by: Pablo Albarenga. Brazil, 2019.

"If they build the dam, they will destroy the landscape we have always lived in; they will destroy nature; they will destroy water with pollution, by reducing the oxygen that the crashing of the waterfall allowed; the construction alone will pollute the water that provides fish for us, the water that we bathe in, the water that we take to our homes..." This alarm sounded thirty-six years ago and it remains urgent. The quote comes from one of the manifestos created in 1983, when fourteen Indigenous groups from Mato Grosso joined forces to halt the construction of the Salto dos Peixes hydroelectric plant, which would have been located in the Apiaká-Kayabi Indigenous Territory in the Juruena Basin region and is one of the main tributaries to the Tapajós River, which remains threatened by hydroelectric projects today.

Read the full story on Le Monde Diplomatique in Portugese.