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May 21, 2008

Indigenous Brazilians Protest Dam

Indigenous natives from several tribes near Brazil's Xingu River attended and protested a gathering set up to debate the impact of a proposed hydroelectric dam. Mobs of Indians surrounded Brazilian Eletrobras engineer Paulo Fernando Rezende minutes after he gave a presentation. Rezende emerged shirtless, with a deep, bloody gash on his shoulder, but said "I'm OK, I'm OK," as colleagues rushed him to a car.

It was not immediately clear whether Rezende was intentionally slashed or received the cut inadvertently when he was surrounded and pushed to the floor. Police said they were still investigating and no one was in custody.

Tensions were running high at the meeting, where about 1,000 Amazon Indians met with activists to protest the proposed dam on the Xingu River. Environmentalists warn it could destroy the traditional fishing grounds of Indians living nearby and displace as many as 15,000 people. (12 photos total)


Brazilian Indians ride a bus in Altamira, Brazil, Wednesday, May 21, 2008. Amazon Indians and activists continue to protest a proposed hydroelectric dam on the nearby Xingu River. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)


Policemen stand guard as an indigenous man passes by during a protest in Altamira, Brazil, Wednesday, May 21, 2008. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

An indigenous boy sits next to a man during a protest against the construction of a dam in Altamira, Brazil, Thursday, May 22, 2008. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Indians protest in Altamira, Brazil, Wednesday, May 21, 2008. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Indigenous women, bearing machetes, protest against the construction of the Belo Monte hydropower dam in Altamira, Brazil, Tuesday, May 20, 2008. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

An indigenous woman, holding a child, attends a protest against the construction of the Belo Monte hydropower dam in Altamira, Brazil, Monday, May 19, 2008. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Paulo Fernando Rezende, an engineer for Brazil's national electric company Eletrobras in charge of Belo Monte dam studies, is seen before being attacked with machetes by Indians who are protesting a proposed hydroelectric dam in Altamira, Brazil, Tuesday, May 20, 2008. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Paulo Fernando Rezende, an engineer for Brazil's national electric company Eletrobras in charge of Belo Monte dam studies, is surrounded by the press after being attacked with machetes by Indians who are protesting a proposed hydroelectric dam in Altamira, Brazil, Tuesday, May 20, 2008. Rezende, who suffered a deep gash on his right shoulder, was attacked moments after he gave a presentation to a gathering debating the impact of the Belo Monte dam on traditional communities. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Aerial picture of the Amazon rain forest taken on February 19, 2005 over the Xingu river basin, 140 km from Anapu, in the northern Brazilian state of Para. (AFP)

Boats are docked on the bank of Xingu River in Altamira, Brazil, Tuesday, May 20, 2008. A proposed hydroelectric Belo Monte dam, to be built in the Xingu River, would be the world's third largest for power production but claims are growing that it could kill the Indians' fish, displace 15,000 people and help destroy the rain forest. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

A girl walks in a neighborhood frequently flooded by the Xingu River in Altamira, Brazil, Wednesday, May 21, 2008. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

A boy plays with a capybara on the banks of the Xingu River near Altamira, Brazil, Tuesday, May 20, 2008. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

For further details, read the entire article.
 
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