'They Want to Make a Dam, and Now They Know They Shouldn't'

<p>A group of Indians from the Amazon attacked a government engineer at a recent meeting where he was discussing a proposed hydroelectric dam on the Xingu River that could displace 15,000 indigenous people and destroy traditional fishing grounds.</p>
May 23, 2008, 8am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Mobs of Indians from different tribes surrounded Eletrobras engineer Paulo Fernando Rezende minutes after he gave a presentation to a gathering debating the impact of the Belo Monte dam on traditional communities living near this small, remote city in the Amazon region."

"Tensions were running high at the meeting, where about a thousand Kayapo Indians met with activists to protest the proposed dam on the Xingu River. Environmentalists warn that the dam could destroy the traditional fishing grounds of Indians living nearby and displace as many as 15,000 people."

"The Brazilian government said the proposed U.S.-$6.7-billion hydroelectric dam on the Xingu River, which flows into the Amazon, will supply Brazil with an estimated 11,000 megawatts of power and is essential to meet growing energy demand."

"'He's lucky he's still alive,' said Partyk Kayapo, who uses his tribe's name as his last. 'They want to make a dam, and now they know they shouldn't.'"

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Published on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 in Associated Press via National Geographic
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