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Sites of engagement

6 Indigenous peoples and Belo Monte Hydroelectric Plant

Indigenous peoples and Belo Monte Hydroelectric Plant: the mobilization of displaced Indigenous peoples in the urban area of Altamira

Estella Libardi de Souza and Assis da Costa Oliveira


The Belo Monte Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) on the Xingu River, constructed in the municipalities of Altamira, Vitoria do Xingu and Brasil Novo in the state of Para, has been a site of conflict between the Brazilian State and Indigenous peoples for more than 30 years. In the late 1980s, Eletronorte (Cen- trais Eletricas do Norte do Brasil S.A.) announced its plans to deploy, in the Volta Grande do Xingu (VGX),[1] the Kararao HPP. This was to be the first step in a project that included the construction of six plants on the Xingu River and one on its main tributaries, the Iriri River, forming the “Hydroelectric Complex Xingu,” which would flood parts of 12 Indigenous territories.[2]

The construction of hydroelectric dams on the Xingu River was studied and planned by the federal government since the mid-1970s, during the period of the military dictatorship in Brazil (1964-1985) when large “development” projects were implemented in the Amazon, with devastating effects for Indigenous peoples. In 1977, Shelton H. Davis argued that Indigenous peoples were the “victims of the miracle,” that is, the economic development policy, responsible for high growth rates of the Brazilian gross domestic product (GDP) in the period known as “economic miracle,” was the direct cause of deaths, diseases, cultural destruction and suffering that spread among Indigenous peoples, especially from the beginning of the 1970s.[3]

The hydroelectric plant planned by the military dictatorship for the Xingu River would have added to the list of major projects in the Amazon that caused genocide and ethnocide; however, it was avoided by the tenacious confrontation by the people that would be affected. Indigenous peoples living in the Xingu basin, especially the Kayapo, strongly resisted this project and they mobilized, denouncing the damage to their territories and the lack of dialogue with the Brazilian government. The Xingu Indigenous Peoples Meeting (promoted by the Kayapo in Altamira in February 1989) against the construction of the Kararao HPP brought together approximately 600 Indigenous peoples; this included 24 peoples from Brazil and abroad as well as environmentalists, anthropologists and journalists, among others.[4] This event had an enormous impact in Brazil and abroad, forcing the federal government to delay and reshape the hydroelectric project. The government renamed the project Bclo Monte and, in the years that followed, there were many battles fought between the successive governments trying to establish the plant and the population struggling to stop it.[5]

The long and strong resistance undertaken by Indigenous peoples resulted in the project being postponed for decades. In the period in which the project was suspended, there were significant constitutional and international law changes, in Brazil and abroad, which ensured important achievements in the field of Indigenous rights. It is noteworthy that Brazil ratified the International Labour Organization Convention (No. 169) concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries and supported adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Therefore, Brazil has a commitment to advance the rights of Indigenous peoples, among which is the right to consultation and free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in the decisions that affect them within the states in which they live.

Consultation is a duty of the states and is an instrument for the effective participation of Indigenous peoples on measures that may directly affect them. The aim of any consultation process is to reach agreement or obtain consent, which means that Indigenous peoples must be able to exercise significant influence in the decision-making process. The perspectives and concerns of Indigenous peoples must be accommodated, which implies demonstrable and verifiable changes in the project’s objectives, parameters or design. On the other hand, in large-scale projects (such as the Belo Monte HPP), there is not only the duty of accommodation but the obligation of the State to obtain the consent of Indigenous peoples, as understood by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.[6]

The new constitutional and international standards, especially the rights of participation, consultation and free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous peoples in relation to the state measures that affect them, are central to the proposal to establish non-colonial relations. Before this new framework of rights, states considered that the territories where Indigenous peoples lived, and the peoples themselves, were under their control and tutelage and, therefore, under their sole decision. However, the right to consultation and FPIC reaffirms the principle that Indigenous peoples have equal dignity to all peoples and cultures and have the same capacity to control their institutions and freely determine their ways of life and development model.[7]

Nevertheless, this new legal framework for the rights of Indigenous peoples did not alter the governmental plans for the construction of the Belo Monte HPP nor the authoritarian practices of the Brazilian State in the implementation of major projects in the Amazon, as we will discuss below. After more than two decades of conflicts,[8] the construction of the Belo Monte HPP started in 2011 and was concluded in November 2019. No consultation process, according to the international standards, has been carried out.

With an installed capacity of up to 11,233.1 megawatts (MW) and costs currently estimated at over US$7 billion, Belo Monte is the largest public works project in Brazil. The federal government presents the plant as “clean energy', renewable and sustainable”[9] and advertises that it does not adversely affect

Indigenous peoples because it does not flood Indigenous lands.[10] The problems encountered by Indigenous peoples are nonetheless serious.

In addition to reducing the flow of the Xingu and jeopardizing the maintenance of the ecosystem and the livelihoods of Indigenous peoples in Volta Grande do Xingu, the Belo Monte HPP displaced hundreds of Indigenous families. The Xipaya and Kuruaya peoples residing in the city of Altamira, which had part of its territory affected by the plant’s reservoir, were especially affected. The enormous population influx that the construction of the project brought to the region also a had major impact on the Indigenous peoples and their territories.

Throughout the construction and the operation of the Belo Monte HPP, the Indigenous peoples affected by Belo Monte engaged in several political actions to denounce the effects of the project and to demand that the Brazilian State and the consortium responsible for the implementation of the plant, Norte Energia, comply with their demands. In addition, the struggle of Indigenous peoples is also a part of the decision-making processes of the Belo Monte HPP, so that they can be heard and have their positions considered with regard to the compensation and mitigation actions that affect them.

In this chapter, we discuss the political mobilization of Indigenous people, specifically the Xipaya and Kuruaya residing in the urban municipality of Altamira who were compulsorily displaced from the area that was destined to be the reservoirs of the Belo Monte HPP. We discuss their political mobilization using field research developed between 2015 and 2017 through interviews[11] with Indigenous leaders, direct action monitoring and documentary research. In the first part of the chapter, we outline the presence of Indigenous peoples in the city of Altamira and the social and political processes the Xipaya and Kuruaya have articulated since the 1990s, as well as their demands for ethnic recognition and territory. These demands run parallel to the attempts of the Brazilian State to implement the hydroelectric plant at Volta Grande do Xingu. Then we examine the implementation of Belo Monte HPP from the latter part of 2000s, when Indigenous peoples in Altamira demand the recognition of their ethnic identities, consideration of the specificity of their livelihoods and participation in the process of registration, negotiation and resettlement of the affected Indigenous families.

The case of HPP Belo Monte reveals the profound implications of the colonial history in the treatment of Indigenous people: their territories, identities and voices. It shows that relations between the Brazilian State and Indigenous peoples remain based on colonial and tutelary bases, resulting in the limitation and violation of the exercise of citizenship by Indigenous peoples, their autonomy and free determination.

The perpetuation of colonial relations, expressed in the tutelary practices related to Indigenous peoples and in disrespect for Indigenous rights, can be understood in the context of Anibal Quijano called coloniality of power. Colo- niality was developed in the context of colonialism, however it is more lasting and profound than this, having become the “foundational stone of the capitalist world power, colonial/modcrn and Eurocentric.”[12] In this sense, coloniality originates from European colonialism but differs from it insofar as it refers to a pattern of power that structures social relations in Latin America.

The case also reveals the way Indigenous peoples face contemporary colonial dilemmas, including their strategies of “cultural rescue” and indigenization of the city, in which they produce a political use of collective memories.

Indigenous peoples and the history of Altamira

The presence of Indigenous people in the urban area of Altamira is tied to the origins of the city.[13] The first non-Indigenous occupation referred to is the Tavaquara Mission, founded by Jesuit priests in 1750 near the Igarape Pan- elas, which brought together the Juruna, Xipaya, Kuruaya and Arara peoples. However, the presence of Indigenous peoples in the city is not the result of the old Tavaquara Mission alone. Simoni and Dagnino point out that the Indigenous presence in Altamira follows the occupation cycles of the Middle Xingu region and the establishment of the city, highlighting three important periods in the process of establishing the city: missionary settlements (1750-1880); two moments during the rubber cycle (1879-1945); and developmentalist expansion (from 1970 until today).[14]

According to Simoni and Dagnino, despite the importance of the mission as a reference point for Indigenous populations, as it is still part of their social memory, missionary occupation was not permanent. The village was definitively established only during the rubber cycle, as of 1879. According to these authors, the Xipaya, Kuruaya and Juruna peoples played an important role in this economic cycle either because of their knowledge of the region or because they worked in the rubber plantations. Many Indigenous people were enslaved and had been forced to travel to work in those plantations. The Xipaya and the Kuruaya were also forced to move because of conflicts with the Kayapo people. In this context, there was a wide circulation between rubber extraction and production sites along the Xingu and Iriri Rivers and the city of Altamira. In this process, relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples intensified and many marriages took place between Indigenous peoples and the “rubber soldiers.”[15] At the end of the rubber cycle in 1945, “the populations involved in rubber production began to find better living conditions in the city of Altamira and settled there.”[16] From the 1970s onwards, with the construction of the Trans-Amazonian Highway, the Indigenous people living in Altamira suffered real-estate cost increases that forced them to live in more distant neighborhoods. They moved closer to the border of the Altamira and Ambe Igarapes as well as the Pandas.

Parente suggests that the movement of the Xipaya and the Kuruaya (the two most populous groups) towards Altamira stems from social and historical reasons.[17] For example, they moved because of the territorial conflicts with the Kayapo and with non-Indigenous peoples. According to Parente, in addition to the context of violence and expropriations to which the Xipaya and Kuruaya peoples were subjected, the city was seen as a space where they could have their demands for health and education met.[18] It was seen as a space for reconstruction of the territory and ethnic identity with the relatives who lived in the city.

“Mixed” in with the non-Indigenous society' and therefore considered as “extinct,” the “dispersion” towards the city’ did not result in the disappearance of the Xipaya and Kuruaya peoples. They engendered strategies to (re)construct their ethnic identities in the city', branding identities that distinguish them from each other and non-Indigenous peoples. According to Parente,[18] the “blood” is a metaphor that evokes (and “proves”) the Xipaya and Kuruaya’s ancestry based on the memory of the elders. They tell the stories of their peoples and maintain the consciousness of belonging to their respective group. Therefore, the blood and the memory of the elders are the central elements to assert themselves as Xipaya people and Kuruaya people.

Parente argues that despite the apparent dispersion and mixture in the process of production of difference and belonging in Altamira, the Xipaya and Kuruaya, grouped in neighborhoods or associations, recreated their world in the city, reconstructed their life and its territory and marked these areas of the city as Indigenous peoples’ places. Yet the territory is recreated in a discontinuous way, sometimes in the plots of land, farms, sites and villages where they transit, sometimes in the city, which is a place of reproduction of life: “meetings, socialization of stories, revitalization of language, strengthening of culture, discussion of demands and strategies of struggle.”[20] In this sense, Parente notes that the city is not thought of as the place of the Other but the Indigenous as well, although it was appropriated by non-Indigenous peoples.

The strategies of the Xipaya and Kuruaya peoples to re-elaborate their ways of life and to reconstruct their ethnic identities in the city are part of the processes of resistance of these peoples to the violence of contact with non-Indigenous society', which almost resulted in the end of their existence.

They arc also form the “re-existence” of the Xipaya and Kuruaya peoples, a category adopted by Adolfo Alban-Achinte to analyze the process of emancipation and struggle of Afro peoples in the Americas, which considers the development of ways of existing, that is, to be in the world in the condition of subjects, and not only to resist the condition of subjugation. Re-existence refers to the process of “re-elaborating life in adverse conditions, in an attempt to overcome these conditions to occupy a dignified place in society”[21] and which remains present in our racialized and discriminatory societies.

In this way, the Xipaya and Kuruaya peoples resist and “re-exist” in the city of Altamira, facing violence and genocidal and ethnocidal actions practiced by non- Indigenous society'.

Struggle and political organization by ethnic recognition in the context of the Belo Monte HPP

When, at the end of the 1980s, Eletronorte attempted to build the Kararao HPP, it knew of the presence of Indigenous peoples who lived in the city of Altamira and understood that they would be affected by construction. In the Report on Indigenous Populations in the Area of Influence of the Kararao HPP to CNEC S.A. (1988), the anthropologist Regina Muller confirmed that the Indigenous population in the area around the Kararao HPP consisted of 3,600 people and 11 officially recognized territories with enormous sociocultural, demographic diversity and history of contact and relation with the territory. According to Muller, this diversity ranged from those that were more recently encountered Indigenous peoples (whose contact occurred in the 1980s) to those that had centuries of coexistence with non-Indigcnous peoples. Many of these communities include those that inhabit places in the Amazon rainforest inaccessible to those who lived in the city. Of the 15 peoples identified by Muller (1988) as affected by the Kararao HPP, four are considered directly impacted. They are the Juruna, the Xikrin, the Xipaya and the Kuruaya. The Xipaya and the Kuruaya lived around the borders of the Xingu, Iriri and Curua Rivers and also live in the urban area of Altamira.

The feasibility studies of the Kararao HPP included a survey of Indigenous peoples in the city, conducted in 1988 by CNEC, Eletronorte and Fundagao Nacional do Indio (Funai), with the objective of identifying the population that would be in the area directly affected by the plant. In the survey, it was found that “the majority of the [ i Indigenous people of the domiciles interviewed had settled in Altamira in the 1940s, most of them being Xipaya and Kuruaya, born in the Iriri and Curua areas.”[22]

In the 1989 document prepared by Eletronorte titled “Information to Indigenous Communities on Hydroelectric Facilities on the Xingu River,” the company states that “in the city of Altamira, 42 indigenous families live today. There are 213 indigenous people and 30 non-indigenous people married to indigenous people. They belong to the groups Curuaya, Xipaya, Arara of Xingu, Karaja, and Kayabi.”[23] Eletronorte presents a map of the places where the Indigenous population lived in Altamira, distributed in several neighborhoods. According to the company, the houses of the Indigenous people of Altamira would not be affected by the reservoir. It did, however, note that

with the construction of the Kararao plant and the growth of the city', the problems of these indigenous people will increase. Eletronorte with Funai can develop actions to improve the standard of living, in the same way it will be done with the Indigenous peoples of the area of impact.[18]

After the defeat suffered in 1989, Eletronorte resumed the attempt to establish the hydroelectric plant in the late 1990s under the name Belo Monte Hydro- power Complex (CHBM). In the reformed project, the reservoir of the plant would not flood Indigenous lands in the VGX, but it would nonetheless reach the city' of Altamira, causing the compulsory displacement of part of the population. Those affected by this displacement would include hundreds of Indigenous families, especially those living on the edge of the Xingu River and other small rivers in the city'.

At that moment, the Indigenous peoples of Altamira had gained some visibility'. In the mid-1990s, they mobilized to recognize the presence of Indigenous families in the city and demand assistance from the Indigenous government body, Funai. Elza Xipaya,[25] a leader of Indigenous families in Altamira, reports that when she returned to Altamira in 1994, she saw the situation of the Indigenous people in the city. According to Elza, the community was “mistreated” without care by Funai. Moreover Funai affirmed that it had no responsibility for the Indigenous peoples of the city. At the same time, she participated in a meeting at the invitation of the Indigenous Missionary Council, which discussed the articulation of a movement to recognize Indigenous people living in the city. Elza proposed to carry out a survey of the Indigenous peoples in Altamira, which began in 1995, elaborating a registry of Indigenous families with the aim of being recognized as Indigenous people living in the city. Thus, in 1999, when a team approached Elza to carry out the environmental impact assessment of the CHBM project,[26] more than a thousand Indigenous people had already been registered.[27]

The environmental licensing of CFIBM was invalidated by the court in 2003, setting the second defeat of the Belo Monte project.[28] The threat of being forcibly displaced by the project, while still struggling for recognition as Indigenous peoples along with the differentiated public policies, boosted and strengthened the mobilization of Indigenous peoples in Altamira. Supported by social movements and by Indigenous Missionary Council in 2000, the movement of Indigenous women extended to the Movement of the Indigenous Families Residents of the city of Altamira and formed an association. Created in 2001, the Association of Indigenous Residents in Altamira initially added 380 Indigenous people, according to an interview with Elza Xipaya.

In addition to the importance of the associations for the social and political organization of Indigenous people in Altamira,[29] Parcntc also emphasizes its significance as spaces of congregation and coexistence of the Indigenous peoples in the city. These were understood as collective spaces: “associations appeared as the place of congregation of the struggle and community in urban contexts, where culture transcends domestic spaces for the collectivization of ethnicity.”[30]

In 2000, the Xipaya, Kuruaya, Juruna and Arara peoples demanded that Funai recognize and demarcate the territory where the Tavaquara Mission was located. In response to the letter sent to Funai by the Movement of the Indigenous Families Residents of the city' of Altamira in September of the same year, the claim was included in the “Basic Survey of Indigenous Land Information to be Defined, Identified and Reviewed in the Ethnographic Area VII - Xingu,” coordinated by the anthropologist Maria Elisa Guedes Vieira in 2001. In the report, Vieira[31] informs that the Xipaya and Kuruaya who lived in the city totaled approximately 800 people, as well as another 400 Juruna, Arara and Kayapo people, a Xucuru family and a Guarani family.

The survey work consisted of “recognition of places that are still in memories of the Kuruaya and Xipaya townspeople,”[32] with the participation of a group of Indigenous Xipaya and Kuruaya, including Elza, which crossed the borders of the Xingu River on the city’s pier, passing through the region of the former Tavaquara Mission. Two possible areas claimed for the delimitation of an Indigenous land or reserve were discussed with the Indigenous peoples: the first, in the Sao Sebastiao and Independente II and III districts, which included the Pandas Creek; the second, alternatively, in the Transamazonica, in the area of the Altamira Creek. However, there were problems in both areas, such as their intense occupation and proximity to the airport in the first case and proximity to a landfill in the alternative area. Vieira suggests that the Xipaya and Kuruaya wanted to be close to the city, in an area that did not flood and where the land is flat and not far from the center of Altamira, where they could continue their economic and educational activities developed through the association. This would include making handicrafts and meetings for cultural and linguistic activities that were important to each ethnic group. We include transcripts of Elza Xipaya’s speech in July of 2001, which explains this particular claim:

I always thought that if we had a land, we would be able to take at least half the indigenous people of the city and ask them to work the land, to cultivate, to work with crops like beans, rice, corn, coffee, black pepper, cocoa. Because today the majority of indigenous people pay rent, so they live a sad life. So, when we sat down, we drafted a document and sent it to Brasilia. Because we were very worried about those indigenous people who are suffering from their needs. And if we gained this land, they will live on this land.... We want to form a village and start to return to culture, to dance, to paint, to make the indigenous rhythm to all, what they did. I take advantage of these eight old elders to teach the younger ones. So our concern is that. So we drafted this document.[33]

(Elza Xipaya, July 2001, cited by Vieira)

The Vieira report indicates the Belo Monte HPP, scheduled for 2002, as a “threat to the territorial integrity” of the Indigenous peoples and suggests the creation of a technical group by Funai for the identification of an area where an Indigenous reserve for the Indigenous peoples of the city of Altamira would be formed.[34] In 2003, a new survey was conducted by the anthropologist Louis Carlos Forline about the possibility of demarcating a land for the “urban Indians” in the city of Altamira. Forline suggests that the “urban Indians” claimed an Indigenous Reserve within Altamira since the 1980s. He points out that

it is considered essential to establish an Indigenous Area in Altamira for reasons of security and self-esteem, and thus contribute to a redirection of the indigenous trajectory in that city. . . . Moreover, the establishment of the Indigenous Area would not be the only and definitive solution, but it is assumed that this space, coupled with the dynamics of the indigenous movement witnessed in the last 15 years in Altamira, would consolidate the effort of agglutinating an expressive part of the Indian actors in this city.[35]

There were no further references regarding the claim of the Indigenous area in the city of Altamira because a technical group for studies on the identification of the Tavaquara Indigenous land or for the constitution of an Indigenous reserve was never formed.

Although it is not possible to affirm that the Belo Monte HPP was the reason for not meeting the demand for an Indigenous territory in the city of Altamira, it is evident that the formal recognition by the Brazilian State of this Indigenous territory could hinder government plans to construct the hydroelectric plant, as it would flood part of the city (possibly the Indigenous territory itself) and would compulsorily displace thousands of people, including hundreds of Indigenous families.

It is noteworthy that the Brazilian Constitution prohibits the compulsory removal of Indigenous peoples. In addition, International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 169 has been in force in Brazil since July 25, 2003, making it mandatory for the Brazilian government to promote a process of consultation with Indigenous peoples on the construction of the Belo Monte HPP. The Indigenous territory in the city of Altamira would reinforce the mandatory consultation, which was not carried out at any time by the Brazilian State, neither before nor during the construction of the hydroelectric plant.

The compulsory displacement of Indigenous peoples affected by Belo Monte

In 2005, the third attempt to create the Belo Monte HPP on the Xingu River began with the publication by the National Congress of the Legislative Decree No. 788, which authorized the Executive Branch to implement the project. After several court decisions that paralyzed the licensing process, the Environmental Impact Assessment related to Indigenous peoples (called the “Indigenous component”)[36] began in 2008. The assessment covered 10 Indigenous lands as well as the Indigenous families living in the urban area of Altamira and along the VGX.[37]

The assessment indicated the presence of 340 Indigenous families in the city of Altamira - a total of 1,622 people - who identified themselves as Xipaya, Kuru- aya and Juruna.[38] Among the possible impacts on the Indigenous inhabitants of Altamira, the assessment pointed to the de-structuring of existing social networks and land removal, although there was a possibility of creating a “visibility and political empowerment” group.[39] The assessment noted:

The filling of the reservoir of the Belo Monte Dam, if the dam is built, will drastically interfere with the living conditions of the indigenous population living in Altamira, leaving it permanently in flood conditions and the indigenous population of Volta Grande, leaving it permanently in a drought situation. This situation will be aggravated, especially in the city of Altamira, by the expected flow of almost 100,000 people attracted by the works. Today, the living conditions of these populations, as well as a large part of the Xingu River’s riverside peoples, are already very precarious. . . . Therefore, due to its vulnerability and the cultural restoration moment that is going through, for this population, the impact of the possible construction of the Belo Monte Dam will be even greater.[40]

Elza Xipaya relates the concern with the area to which they would be displaced at the time. When she participated in a meeting with Funai in Brasilia in 2009, she was informed about the specific registration of the Indigenous people who lived in Altamira and who would be displaced by the plant, but the removal of Indigenous people would occur along with the general affected population, without differentiation as part of the Basic Environmental Plan (PBA) of the project.[41] Elza states:

We just knew we were going out, but I did not know what location they were going to put us. We spent some time worrying because we thought, we live inside the city center, and today they want to put us near from Vitoria, or towards Medicilandia. . . . we stayed like this, with so much things said, we did not know what the locality was. We only knew about this in 2009. . . . was in 2009 when I went there in Brasilia for a meeting at the Funai. . . . Several leaders from here too, for this meeting, that we put as it was going to be the situation of the indigenous people that live in the city and the ones who live in riverside. . . . And it was I who sat down with Janete and Fabio, and she said: “Look, Elza, the team is gone, we are going to send the team back to work with you, but it will be a differentiated work, Funai will follow the registration, the PBA.” [. . .] So it was that she went to talk about the PBA, that it was going to be all together, it was not going to be differentiated. I said, “No, Janete, we want a PBA for indigenous people.” When I saw a team coming to work in a different PBA for the indigenous people in the villages, I said, “No, I want a team that works with the indigenous people in the city' also differentiated, that we will also have opinions, and we will choose what we want. Because if we are to stay together with the population, they will put us where they want, when we are going to ask Funai for help.” Funai says “No, it’s ready, you cannot go back.”. . . So that was the difference, the reallocation, for Funai to go along, to see the structure of the houses, the opinions, and the indigenous people who had to decide which neighborhood he was going to go to, it was not Norte Energia to do as they want. . . . We even put Funai from Brasilia, an indigenous neighborhood. As it is different, we wanted a different neighborhood, a neighborhood only for the indigenous people.[42]

As the construction of Bclo Monte HPP provided the possibility for the resettlement of affected families in new neighborhoods constructed for reallocations, the Indigenous peoples required a district where they would be resettled. According to Elza Xipaya’s report, the demand for the “indigenous people neighborhood” was connected to the former claim of the Xipaya and Kuruaya for the Indigenous Tavaquara territory in Altamira. Funai never responded to their initial claim. For this reason, according to Elza’s account, “Indigenous neighborhood” and “Indigenous land” are terms that appear to have the same meaning:

Because in 1994, I had already discussed an indigenous neighborhood, I think you should have already seen the history of this neighborhood, which was in the Independente. . . . [But how did this story of the indigenous neighborhood come about?} From Tavaquara, have you heard of Tavaquara? It came out like this. Because that’s where Independent I is, when I started working, they said, “Look, Elza, this place was a place that when we came, we stayed here.” There it was called “The Oca,” at that time. Then the indigenous peoples who came from the Xingu and the Iriri, the Xipaya, Kuruaya, and Juruna, all their locality' and was there, in that place. There it was called “The Oca.” . . . And we put the name “Tavaquara.” . . . Independent II, it is not Independente I. This area was very large. . . . And then the indigenous people wanted it to be a village, an indigenous neighborhood.[18]

Elza Xipaya states that she was giving up the Tavaquara land because she was afraid for her life. The area where Tavaquara land was supposed to be, near the Independente II neighborhood, was intensely occupied by non-Indigcnous. The Indigenous peoples had not accepted the proposal of an alternative place, as Elza suggested, in an area on the banks of the Xingu known as Pedral, because the Indigenous peoples claimed the Independente II neighborhood as their territory. Thus, according to Elza’s account, the claim for the Indigenous territory in the city remained “quiet” until the studies related to the Belo Monte HPP began, when the demand resumed in the form of a resettlement only for the Indigenous people, an Indigenous neighborhood, which would take the form of an Indigenous land:

Then it got quiet. When this team already came to us to see, then I said: “Let’s work on an indigenous neighborhood.” Because there was in the questionnaire, an indigenous neighborhood. . . . We had a lot of discussion with indigenous people about the indigenous neighborhood. And we also talked: “Look, if an indigenous neighborhood will be formed, it will be only for indigenous people live there, in that neighborhood we will not allow parties, we will not allow alcohol, it will be a village, we’re going to work to build a heritage of the association, a good thing that comes to the benefit of everyone.”[18]

The Belo Monte Hydroelectric Environmental Impact Assessment highlights that in the meetings with Indigenous leaders and families living in Altamira, the group’s decision was about the structuring of an Indigenous neighborhood for the resettlement of Indigenous families affected by the reservoir plant. This was not the same as the claim for the demarcation of the Indigenous land Tavaquara to be held by Funai:

During the interviews, besides the ratification of the continuity of the process of identification of urban indigenous land (Funai attribution), it was demanded an indigenous neighborhood in an area to be identified in Altamira, to house the indigenous families affected directly by the Xingu reservoir (about 200 families) or even all those living in the city (estimated at 340, plus about 50 still unregistered).[45]

In the report that evaluated the environmental impact assessment, Funai considered that the claims about Tavaquara land and noted that “the question of the identification of an Indigenous Land in the city of Altamira, whose suit was referred to Funai at the beginning of 2000, still needs to be better evaluated by the official indigenous body.”[46] As well, in relation to the claim of the Indigenous neighborhood:

The structuring of a neighborhood for the indigenous families that will eventually be relocated from the Altamira creeks presents itself in a very timely manner. It will be necessary to discuss and plan with the families all the configuration of this new neighborhood, its location, spatial organization and internal regiment. If, on the one hand, the new indigenous neighborhood was intended only for those families impacted by the construction of the reservoir, we agree with the perspective pointed out in the studies that the programs of differentiated care should extend to all indigenous families of Altamira, independent of whether or not they are directly impacted by the work. In this way, problems of discrimination and favoritism would be avoided, also avoiding divisions and intensification of internal disputes between the indigenous families living in Altamira. In addition, it is recalled that they may also receive basic health care and education in a differentiated way.[18]

On February 1, 2010, the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) issued the prior license to Belo Monte HPP; and on April 20, 2010, the auction of the plant was held, with the Norte Energia consortium as the successful contender. In that year, Norte Energia began the elaboration of the Indigenous Component Basic Environmental Guide (PBA- CI), which consolidated the programs and actions under the responsibility of the consortium, to mitigate and compensate the impacts of the plant on Indigenous peoples. While the PBA-CI was prepared, in January 2011, Ibama issued a permit authorizing the installation of construction sites of Belo Monte Hydroelectric Plant and, in June of the same year, issued an installation license to start the plant.

The PBA-CI, directed by Norte Energia and approved by Funai, reiterates the demand for an Indigenous neighborhood, pointing out that it would be the project to “adapt the time and the pace of settlement processes of agreement about resettlement, taking into account the needs of resettled indigenous families,”[48] and that “sufficient time should be allowed for them [Indigenous peoples], in accordance with their habits, cultural and political practices, to discuss and make all decisions collectively.”[18] [50]

The PBA-CI stresses that in the collective urban resettlement option, the demands and specificities of Indigenous families for collective urban resettlement should be negotiated with the entrepreneur. Also, to ensure access to information and to “permit the participation of the population throughout the process, from the choice of areas for resettlement, housing typology, eligibility criteria and others,”30 the PBA-CI envisaged participatory workshops with Indigenous peoples affected, in order to reach agreements with Indigenous families regarding their collective urban resettlement proposals.

In early 2013, Norte Energia initiated meetings with the affected population, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, about the resettlement process. The Indigenous people participated in the meetings, but there were no specific meetings with the Indigenous families affected to discuss and agree on the resettlement process, as it was foreseen in the PBA-CI. Elza Xipaya, displaced by the Belo Monte project, attended the meetings and noted that those affected - Indigenous and non- Indigenous - had no information about where the collective urban resettlement would be deployed. Subsequently, Norte Energia stated that the houses to be


built for resettlement would be made in concrete, with an area of 63 metres, in five areas where the collective urban resettlement would be implemented, called “new neighborhoods.”

All areas defined by the Norte Energia for resettlement are far from the Xingu River border, and only one - the collective urban resettlement (RUC) Larangeiras - has access to the river through the Panelas Creek. In view of this, the Indigenous associations of Altamira (Aima, Kirinapan and Inkuri) questioned the proposed housing model and the locations defined for the collective urban resettlement. They convened a meeting in Altamira in July 2013 with Ibama, Funai, the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) and Norte Energia, and they began to demand the acquisition of a new area near the Xingu for the resettlement of Indigenous families. The first area claimed by Indigenous people in Panelas Creek, near the Xingu, was requested in a list signed by more than 300 Indigenous people.

However, the reply from Norte Energia was that “the recommendation of the licensor was to avoid construction in Altamira neighborhoods that could lead to segregation.”[51] Thus, Norte Energia ignored what was foreseen in the environmental impact assessment and the PBA-CI, proposed by the company itself. Using the “promise” to avoid any segregationist differentiation in the treatment of Indigenous and non-Indigenous families, the company violated the right of Indigenous peoples to participate in the decision-making process and did not take into account their demands regarding the relocation process.

At that time, although Indigenous families were no longer concentrated in one place, as in the past, when the place occupied by the Xipaya and Kuruaya in the city was known as “village” or “mission” there were still groups of families in some regions of the city. Under the argument of avoiding the segregation of Indigenous families, Norte Energia intended to provoke, or accentuate, the “dispersion” oflndigenous peoples living in the city and, with this, the disintegration and breaking of the bonds of solidarity that united Indigenous families. As we can see, Norte Energia used a reference of equal treatment between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to re-force the violation of Indigenous autonomy and the disqualification oflndigenous voices.

It should be noted that to deny the possibility of collective urban resettlement deployment in the area indicated by the Indigenous people, the company said that although it was possible, its acquisition “would require a process of negotiation with the owners with deadlines incompatible with the Belo Monte environmental licensing schedule.”[18] Thus, instead of the environmental licensing process of Belo Monte HPP respecting the time needed for Indigenous people to discuss and make their decisions, the Indigenous people had to adapt to the time of the environmental licensing of Belo Monte and the deployment schedule of the plant.

The process of reallocation proceeded at an accelerated pace, as Norte Energia still intended to obtain the operating license for Belo Monte HPP in 2014. In order to do so, it would have to conclude the “negotiation” to reallocate the 7,790 registered families04 in the urban area, including 776 Indigenous families located next to the Creeks Am be, Altamira, Panelas and the borders of the Xingu. When the “negotiations” were initiated, the affected people denounced the denial of the option for a house in one of the collective urban resettlement and the pressure to accept the low value of the indemnities, among other violations discussed in a public hearing promoted by MPF in November 2014 in Altamira.

Although the removal of those affected people was ongoing, the Indigenous associations resisted and insisted on guaranteeing the Indigenous people affected the possibility of resettlement in a close area to the Xingu. In early 2014, as part of the demand for associations and as a determination ofFunai, there were “participatory workshops” with Indigenous families to discuss the relocation process and agreement concerning the resettlement areas. Of the 654 families registered so tar, only 181 participated in the workshops. The participating families (almost 70%) expressed a desire to be resettled in an area on the borders of the Xingu, known as Pedral.

Despite the fact that Norte Energia denied the possibility of deploying a collective urban resettlement in the area of Pedral (which also was hampered by Ibama for not fitting the criteria in the PBA), the Indigenous claim was added to the fishermen’s demand, represented by the Z-57 Fishing Colony through the Pedral area, for resettlement on the banks of the Xingu River. Both Indigenous peoples and fishermen (a category that included many Indigenous fishermen) claimed the Pedral area as the most adequate to maintain their ways of life, in close relation to the Xingu River. Ibama (in the case of fishermen) and Funai (in the case of the Indigenous people) stated that the areas envisaged by Norte Energia thus far did [53]

not stratify the expectations of the affected population. Finally, in 2014, Norte Energia announced that it would implement a collective urban resettlement in the Pedral area for the resettlement of Indigenous people and fishermen.

The negotiation process with the affected people, including the 776 Indigenous families, was completed by the end of 2015, and families were removed. Those who opted for RUC Pedral were provisionally resettled in other collective urban resettlements, maintaining the possibility of being resettled in Pedral when it is completed. On November 24 of that year, Belo Monte HPP obtained the Operation License (LO), which determined that RUC Pedral should be concluded by November 2016.

The RUC Pedral was concluded in 2019, almost three years after the deadline foreseen in LO. One hundred and fifty houses have been built, in addition to a school, a daycare center, a health center and other basic services. There are, however, pending adjustments in the houses, such as adding balconies and walls. The process of “re-offering” the houses available in RUC Pedral to Indigenous families and fishermen provisionally settled in other collective urban resettlements is also undefined.

For Claudio Curuaia,[54] an Indigenous leader, president of the Inkuri Indigenous association and secretary of the Working Group to follow up on the implementation of RUC Pedral, the delay in implementing it was a strategy of Norte Energia for families to give up on the area. Today, there would be only about 30 families to be transferred to RUC Pedral. Curuaia, however, believes that many other families would opt for the transfer to RUC Pedral after the “re-offer,” which Norte Energia would be resisting, although it is an obligation of the company. For this reason, Indigenous associations and their representatives continue to be mobilized for the transfer of Indigenous families.

During the process of implementing RUC Pedral, the Indigenous associations of Altamira expanded their initiatives to make it a “differentiated neighborhood” in order to give visibility to the Indigenous presence in the city and to strengthen the process of “cultural rescue” of Indigenous peoples who live in Altamira. In addition to building Indigenous associations’ offices and cultural spaces within RUC Pedral, the associations demand that the streets of the neighborhood be named after the Kuruaya, Xipaya and Juruna peoples and their leaders[55] in order to register Indigenous protagonism in the constitution of the “neighborhood” and honor their ancestors. They also require that the public facilities (school, daycare and health centers) be painted with graphic design motifs of the Xipaya, Kuruaya and Juruna peoples.

In this way, the demands of the Indigenous peoples for RUC Pedral are connected with the longing of these populations for a territory in which it is possible to reproduce and reconstruct their ways of life, continuing the process of “cultural rescue” started in the 1990s, where they can “return to culture, to dance, to paint, to make the indigenous rhythm to all,” as Elza Xipaya explained in 2001.

In addition, the Indigenous associations managed to change the name of the “neighborhood” from RUC Pedral to RUC Tavaquara. At the same time, the claim of the Indigenous area in the city of Altamira, called Tavaquara Reserve, was resumed, proposing to Funai the creation of an Indigenous reserve in the area surrounding the collective urban resettlement. In evoking the name of the old mission/village, the Indigenous peoples living in the city want to “mark” the Indigenous presence in Altamira and also emphasize the history of Indigenous peoples in the territory that is now part of the city. As Claudio Curuaia says, the Kuruaya, Xipaya and Juruna are not newcomers to the city' but they are “native” peoples, originally from Tavaquara territory.


In this chapter, we have discussed the political mobilization of the Xipaya and Kuruaya peoples, who were displaced by the Belo Monte HPP project in Brazil. These Indigenous peoples mobilized in the form of various Indigenous movements and associations; the main demand of these communities was for an Indigenous resettlement solely for Indigenous peoples - an Indigenous neighbourhood in Pedral, which was later called Tavaquara.

As we have seen, there was no consultation process with Indigenous peoples who were compulsorily displaced by the Belo Monte HPP and no mechanism for effective participation of Indigenous peoples in the process of relocation and resettlement of those affected by the hydroelectric plant, through which Indigenous demands were accommodated. The case of HPP Belo Monte points, therefore, to the persistence of colonial practices that disregard Indigenous peoples as political subjects, resulting in the violation of the citizenship of Indigenous peoples, their autonomy and free determination. “Development” policies and projects, such as the Belo Monte HPP, are ways of updating the coloniality relations that shape the formation of the Brazilian State; for this reason, there is so little difference in the practices adopted when implementing “development” projects in Brazil, either during the military dictatorship or during democracy.

Nevertheless, in the case of the Belo Monte HPP, Indigenous peoples mobilized and sought ways to claim rights and make themselves heard, devising strategies to influence the decision-making process on the relocation and resettlement of the affected population. Despite the authoritarianism and the speed of implementation of the project, Indigenous peoples resisted and produced political responses capable of influencing the course of events, which is important to emphasize when analyzing the social effects of large-scale projects.[56]

The mobilization of Indigenous peoples in the city of Altamira and the conquest of RUC Pedral/Tavaquara demonstrate the tenacity of Indigenous resistance. Indigenous peoples did not passively accept Norte Energia’s plans. They sought a territory that could maintain and strengthen the bonds of solidarity between Indigenous families and that would be suitable for its political and historical projects of “cultural rescue” and reconstruction of their ethnic identities, based on a territory that demarcates the Indigenous presence in the city - and this way, “indianizes” the city. RUC Tavaquara points out that the city of Altamira has a history, that the history of the city is also the history of Indigenous peoples, and that the presence of Indigenous peoples in the city is part of the process of “re-existence” of the Xipaya and Kuruaya peoples.

7 Unearthing (de) colonial legal relations

  • [1] The Volta Grande do Xingu is a stretch of about 180 km with rich biodiversity, consisting ofislands, channels and rapids, where the Xingu River makes a huge curve after passing throughthe town of Altamira, in Para State.
  • [2] Fanv Ricardo, “As usinas hidrcRtricas e os indios” (1991) Centro Ecuntenico de Documen-ta^aoe Informa^ao [CEDI 1991].
  • [3] Shelton H. Davis, Victims of the Miracle: Development and the Indians of Brazil (Cambridge:Cambridge University Press, 1977).
  • [4] Amazonia Hoje, “Kararao, as iguas vao rolar?” (1989) 1:3, 28, CEDI 1991, supra note 2;Arsenio Oswaldo & Seva Filho, “Tenota-Мб: alerta sobre as consequencias dos projetoshidrelltricos no rio Xingu” (2005) Sao Paulo: 1RN, 2005.
  • [5] Alexandra Martins Silva, “Megaprojetos, conflitos e processo decisorio - a andlise de umacontroversia intemporal chamada Belo Monte” (2015) Universidade de Coimbra, Eaculdadede Economic!, Programs! de Doutoramento em Governacao, Conhecimento e Inovacao, Coimbra,online (pdf): . Silva, who analyzes the decision-making process that led to the construction of the BeloMonte SA, states that it cannot be considered only as a water project, since it represents “asymbol of resistance and also persistence marked on the one hand by the struggle of indigenouspeoples and on the other hand by the desire of successive Brazilian rulers to build it” (p. 2). Inaddition, other segments of social movements such as those related to women, people affectedby dams, children, the elderly, blacks and riverside communities, among others, had a relevantrole leading the resistance against hydroelectric projects. However, they did not have the samevisibility and efficiency obtained by indigenous people.
  • [6] CIDH, “Pueblos indfgenas, comunidades afrodescendientes у recursos naturales: Proteccionde derechos humanos en el contexto de actividades de extraccidn, explotacidn у desarrollo”(2015) Organization de los Estados Americanos, online (pdf): .
  • [7] Raquel Yrigoyen Fajardo, “De la tutela a los derechos de libre determination del desarollo,participation, consulta e consentimiento: fundamentos, balance у retos para su implementation” (2009) 1:2 Amazonica - Revista de Antropologia.
  • [8] Beto Ricardo & Fany Ricardo, “Pox'os Indfgenas no Brasil: 2006/2010” (2011) Sdo Paulo:Institute Socioambiental. Despite the defeat suffered by Eletronorte in 1989, the company continued xvorking to implement the hydroelectric project on the Xingu Rixer. The Belo Monte project xvas re-presented atthe late 1990s, with several changes, but was still contested by social movements and indigenouspeoples; the environmental licensing was judicially inxalidated by the court in 2003. In 2005,the third attempt to implement the project began. Indigenous peoples and social movementsmobilized intensely against the project; the mobilization included meetings and other events inx arious cities of the country and abroad. An emblematic moment of the mobilization againstBelo Monte xxas the Xingu Vivo Para Sempre Meeting, held in Altamira in May 2008, with participation of indigenous peoples, social movements, civil society organizations, researchers, andenvironmentalists, among others. The meeting xxas attended by about 3,000 people, includingabout 800 indigenous people, from more than 20 indigneous communities.
  • [9] DanielcBraganya,“DilmainaugurausinahidreletricadeBeloMonte”(5May2016) OECO,online:;CEDI 1991, supra note 2.
  • [10] BRASIL, “Belo Monte transforma a vida de 11 cidades do Para" (25 May 2015) ZE DUDU,online: .
  • [11] Indigenous persons interviewed in this research were previously informed of the objective ofthe research and the questions they would answer, and the publicization of their names andinformation. The people interviewed previously agreed with these ethical procedures orally,and it was recorded as a register for them and the researchers.
  • [12] Anibal Quijano, “;Quc tal raza!” (2000) 6:1 Rev. Venez. de Economtay Ciencias Societies at37, translated by the authors.
  • [13] The town Altamira had, in the 2010 census, 99,075 habitants (for 2018, it is estimated113,195 people) in an area of 159,533.328 square kilometer (IBGE, 2017), land area whichmakes it the largest Brazilian municipality and one of the largest in the world. Much of theterritory of the municipality covers indigenous lands and conservation units. The urban areaof the municipality, the city of Altamira, is situated on the banks of the Xingu River and iscut by the Transamazonica highway; it concentrates much of the population.
  • [14] Alessandra T. Simoni & Ricardo S. Dagnino, “Dinamica demogrdfica da populayao indfgenacm areas urbanas: о caso da cidade de Altamira, Pari” (2016) 33:2 R. bras. Est. Pop 303.
  • [15] Isabel Cristina Martins Guilhen, “A batalha da borracha: propaganda polftica e migrayaonordestina para a Amazonia durante о Estado Novo” (1997) 9 Revista tie Soeiolopia e Politica95. “Soldiers of Rubber” was the expression used to categorize the migration of the northeastern workers to the Amazon during period of the Estado Novo (1937-1945), when itpromoted the national campaign ’’Battle of Rubber ”, a result of agreements between Braziland United States (the Washington Agreements) that had a focus on the increasing of production strategic raw material (especially rubber and minerals) for the equipment used inWorld War II, which lasted from 1939 to 1945, in exchange for technical and financial support from the Americans. According to Guillen (1997), the ideas of “soldiers of rubber” and“battle of rubber” were used to promote the involvement of Brazilian society in the effort ofcooperation for the war. The migration to the Amazon had government incentives, and, “asa result of drought in 1942, about 50,000 Northeastern workers destinations volunteered(or were willing) to face the battle of production” (p. 95).
  • [16] Simoni & Dagnino, supra note 14 at 309 (translated by the authors).
  • [17] Francilene de Aguiar Parente, “Eles sao indlgenas e n6s tambem: pertenyas e identidadesetnicas entre xipaya e kuruaya cm Altamira/Para. Tese (Doutorado)” (2016) UniversidadeFederal do Para, Institute de Filosofia e Ciencias Humanas, Programa de Pos-Graduayao emAntropologia, Belem.
  • [18] Ibid.
  • [19] Ibid.
  • [20] Ibid, at 243.
  • [21] Adolfo Albdn Achinte, “Epistemes ‘otras’: ;epistemes disruptivas?” (2012) 6 KULA Antrop-ologos del Atldntico Stir at 30, translated by the authors.
  • [22] Simoni & Dagnino, supra note 14 at 321.
  • [23] Eletronorte, Informa^oes as comunidades indfgenas sobre os aproveitamentos hidrelltricosno rio Xingu (1989) at 8.
  • [24] Ibid.
  • [25] Interview of Elza Xipaya, aged 49, by Estella Libardi de Souza (February 2017) at her home,located in collective urban resettlement (RUC) Sao Joaquim. Elza Xipaya was the main articulator of the movement of indigenous families in the cityof Altamira, and president of the Association of Indigenous Residents of Altamira (Aima)from its creation until 2010, when she was appointed to a post in Funai to work with theindigenous population in Altamira, where she still works today. Estella Libardi de Souzainterviewed her on two occasions in February 2017.
  • [26] The environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the CMBM was carried out by the AmparoFoundation and Research Development (FADESP), linked to the Federal University of Para(UFPA). However, the EIA was invalidated by a decision handed down by the Federal PublicProsecution Service filed by the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), which required the nullityof the agreement between Eletronorte and FADESP.
  • [27] Simoni & Dagnino, supra note 14. It is interesting to note the discrepancy in the numbersreferring to the indigenous population in the city of Altamira, obtained in several local surveys, carried out either by the indigenous people, or by researchers, or by the EIA of the BeloMonte project, in relation to censuses demographics 2000 and 2010, being the census arealways lower than those of local surveys, as highlighted by Simoni and Dagnino.
  • [28] Oswaldo & Filho, supra note 4.
  • [29] In 2003, another indigenous association, Akarird, was created and later renamed Kirinapan.Since 2012, other associations have been formed.
  • [30] Parente, supra note 17 at 229.
  • [31] Maria Elisa Guedes Vieira, “Relatorio do Levantamento Bdsico de Informa^oes das TerrasIndigenas a Definir, a Identificar e a Revisar na Area Etnogrdfica VH-Xingu” (2002).
  • [32] Ibid, at 9.
  • [33] Ibid, at 10.
  • [34] The demarcation of indigenous lands is an administrative procedure, regulated by law, bywhich the Brazilian government represents and recognizes the original right of indigenouspeoples to territories traditionally occupied by them, identifying them and delimiting them.The Indigenous reservation is a different form of recognition of the territorial rights of indigenous peoples as provided in article 26 of Law No. 6001/1973, known as the IndigenousStatute, through which the Union purchase, evict or receive in donation property for theestablishment of the indigenous reservation. According to Fundayao Nacional Do Indio -Funai, “Entenda о processo de demarcajao” (2017), online: [Funai (2016)], the reserves are constituted “in extraordinaryeases, such as irreversible internal conflict, impacts of large enterprises or technical impossibility of recognition of land of traditional occupation,” and although they are lands that alsobelong to the patrimony of the Union and are destined to the permanent possession of theindigenous peoples, they are not confused with the lands of traditional occupation, whicharticle 231 of the Brazilian Federal Constitution deals with. However, there are indigenouslands constituted by means of reserves that are recognized as of traditional occupation.
  • [35] Louis Carlos Forline, “Estudo e Levantamento Prdvio de Identificafao e Delimitayao daTerra Indigena Tavaquara - Relatorio final” (2004) at 26.
  • [36] Funai calls indigenous component the assessment, within the process of environmental license,about the impacts about indigenous peoples and lands, as well as compensation actions andmitigation later proposed and implemented as a result of such assessment.
  • [37] The indigenous lands were Paquiyamba; Arara Volta Grande do Xingu; Juruna of km 17;Arara; Cachoeira Seca; Arawete do Igarape Ipixuna; Koatinemo; Kararao; Apyterewa; andTrincheira Bacaja. Subsequently, the Xipaya and Kuruaya indigenous lands were included.
  • [38] Eletrobras, “Aproveitamento Hidrclctrico Belo Monte: Estudo de Impacto Ambiental/Relatorio de Impacto Ambiental (EIA/RIMA)” (2009) 35 Rio de Janeiro.
  • [39] Fundayao Nacional Do Indio - Funai. Parecer Tccnico №. 21 CMAM/CGPIMA. 30 set.2009 [Funai (2009)].
  • [40] Ibid, at 212.
  • [41] The PBA is provided by the Resolution No. 006 of 16 September 1987 from the NationalCouncil for the Environment (CONAMA), and presents a breakdown of all environmental programs and projects to be implemented by the entrepreneur foreseen in the EIA orrequested by the licensing agency. It is a prerequisite for obtaining the installation license (LI).
  • [42] Interview of Elza Xipaya (February 2017).
  • [43] Ibid.
  • [44] Ibid.
  • [45] Forline, supra note 35 at 448.
  • [46] Funai (2009), supra note 39 at 84.
  • [47] Ibid.
  • [48] Norte Energia, “PBA do Componente Indfgena da Usina Hidretetrica Belo Monte” (2011)Programa Medio Xingu at 1098.
  • [49] Ibid.
  • [50] Ibid, at 1101.
  • [51] Norte Energia. CE 075/2013 - DS, de 21 ago. 2013.
  • [52] Ibid.
  • [53] Assis da Costa Oliveira, “Atingidos pda Usina Hidreletrica Belo Monte: mobilizayaopolitico-organizacional da luta por direitos humanos” in Arruda, Conflitos juridico-poltticosna Amazonia e processes dc enfrentamento (Sao Paulo: leone Editora, 2018) at 52. In fact,the identification and quantification of families registered as affected were in dispute overthe period of implementation of the Belo Monte HPP. According to Oliveira (2018), despitehaving been registered 7,790 families, the unique design of the urban resettlement only3,980 families, and disregarded the registration of hundreds of families. As a result of this,the Movement of Dam Affected people (MAB) began to organize, from 2014, a process ofpreparation of statistical and nominal surveys, through personal data population and signatures collected fortnightly meetings monitoring of the affected families in neighborhoodsof Altamira, to provide visibility' to the exclusion of thousands of registration conducted byNESA [Norte Energia]” (p 60). From this popular census, MAB came to the quantity ofabout 50,000 non-indigenous people who would be affected in the urban area of Altamira,has already recognized an additional 1,300 families, representing about 4,888 people.
  • [54] Interview of Claudio Curuaia Cambuf, president of the Inkuri association, by Estella Libardide Souza (July 2015 and February 2017 in Altamira). The references to his speech are alsopart of the recent conversations they had, between April and June of 2019, in the city ofAltamira. Claudio Curuaia Cambul has been the main articulator of the indigenous struggle inAltamira for RUC Pedral.
  • [55] In Canada, the Ogimaa Mikana Project has developed a similar initiative to restore Anishinaabemeans in the place-names ofthe streets, avenues, roads, paths, and trails ofToronto, or the nomination in Anishunaabe language of this territory: Gichi KUwenging. More information at LaceyMcrae Williams, “Reclaiming Spaces/Places: Restoring Indigenous Street Names in Toronto”(4 November 2014) Spacing National, online: .
  • [56] Lygia Sigaud discusses the construction of the Sobradinho dam, in Brazil, in the 1970s. Theauthor highlights that the literature drew attention to the fragility of the population andthe lack of reaction to state authoritarianism, as it was concerned with emphasizing the negativesocial effects of the project and thus ignored the population’s political responses. On theother hand, the author emphasizes the political responses of the population that sufferedthe social effects of the project and points out that, although limited by the dimensions ofwhat was imposed on it, and unable to prevent the destruction of its social organization, thepopulation was not entirely passive to the events, and reacted to the point of influencing thedirection of the solutions that were being given by the State. Lygia Sigaud, Efeitos sociaisdegranites projetos hidreletricos: as barragens de Sobradinho e Machadinho (Rio de Janeiro:Programa de Pos-Graduayao cm Antropologia Social, Museu Nacional - UFRJ, 1986) oronline: .
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