A’uwẽ-Xavante Leaders Denounce Bogus Consultations Regarding 3 Hydroelectric Dams, Demand halt to Commercial Transport on Federal Highways during COVID By Laura Graham and Edson Krenak Naknanuk
Laura R. Graham, Edson Krenak Naknanuk
A’uwẽ–Xavante leaders from the Xavante Indigenous Territories of São Marcos, Areões, Pimentel Barbosa and Sangradouro denounce the consultation process concerning three hydroelectric dams planned for tributaries to the Rio das Mortes in Brazil’s eastern Mato Grosso state. According to a denunciation issued on March 3, 2020, by A’uwẽ-Xavante leaders (see below), political and business interests are corrupting the consultation process. They are co-opting leaders, excluding representatives of communities to be affected, and seeding division among Indigenous Peoples who inhabit the Rio das Mortes basin. Because a technical detail absurdly defines the affected zone as the very limited area within a 40-kilometer radius of each construction site, only a small group of leaders from a single Xavante Indigenous Territory, Sangradouro (see map), have been summoned to participate in meetings regarding the development of a consultation protocol. This same small group also authorizes companies involved in the dams’ construction to move forward conducting impact studies.