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The Xingu Encounter 2008 will be a 5-day mass gathering of 1,000 Brazilian Amazon Indians and their allies to protest the development and construction of government-supported hydroelectric dam projects on the Xingu River.
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Brazilian Tribes Say Dam Threatens Way of Life

Julie McCarthy, NPR’s South American correspondent filed this in-depth, detailed and evocative feature about the struggle of the Amazonian Indians to stop the damming of the Xingu River. Her eyewitness report on the Xingu Encounter aired May 31 on Weekend Edition—NPR’s most widely listened to show.

Xingu Encounter in the News

The Real News interviews Glenn Switkes and Amazon Indigenous Indian protesters who say the social and environmental costs of the Belo Monte dam, the world's third largest proposed dam, will destroy their way of life and wreck the Xingu river's ecosystem.

Sonia Legg of Reuters reports on the angry reaction from environmentalists and tribal Indians to Brazilian plans to build a hydro-electric complex on the Xingu River.

Final Declaration From the Xingu People

Xingu Encounter participants joined together to create three powerful documents voicing their concerns and demands in regards to the proposed dam projects.

Protest Swim in Defense of the Xingu River

Kayapó women bathe their children in the Xingu River (Glenn Switkes)

Kayapó women bathe their children in the Xingu River (Glenn Switkes)

Read an article about the protest swim in which Brazilian Indians participated to register their objection to the construction of major dams in the Xingu basin (Associated Press).

Articles Highlight the Close of the Encounter

Closing rally (Glenn Switkes)

Closing rally (Glenn Switkes)

Encounter in its Final Day

Yesterday, Amazon Indians and other Encounter attendants took part in dialogues focused on indigenous participation in infrastructure planning and also on environmental sustainability. Today, they are marching in the street together in one final act of solidarity and protest.

Critical Encounter Moving Forward

Kayapó with homemade anti-dam signs (Glenn Switkes)

Kayapó with homemade anti-dam signs (Glenn Switkes)

The Xingu Encounter 2008 has already helped to place international attention and pressure on the Brazilian government, which is being criticized for prioritizing economic growth over protection and preservation of its fragile environment and even human life. Indigenous groups have traveled from all over the Amazon to convene in Altamira, and there is a fantastic energy emerging from this unification of ideas and actions. The Encounter provides them with the opportunity to educate the world and garner international support in protest of the government-sanctioned projects. Additionally, these five days are critically important because they will cause the Brazilian government to pay attention to the needs of its people.

15,000 to be Displaced by Proposed Amazon Dams

Another great video about the event and what's at stake, from the Real News Network.

Blog Recounts Turbulent Day Two

Patrick Cunningham blogs daily from Altamira, Brazil. His words and photographs capture the participants' enthusiasm as well as the tension felt during the first couple of days at the Encounter.

Check it out: Encontro Xingu '08

Battling for Water in the Amazon

Al Jazeera's Gabriel Elizondo reports from Altamira, Brazil in this feature on the impacts of the Belo Monte Dam and on the Xingu Encounter 2008.