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This is not a new photo, it's been circulating for a few months now, but it has become new again because of Facebook and it is touching a lot of people because of the impact it has had.

The chief Raoni cries when he learns that brazilian president Dilma released the beginning of construction of the hydroelectric plant of Belo Monte, even after tens of thousands of letters and emails addressed to her and which were ignored as the more than 600 000 signatures. That is, the death sentence of the peoples of Great Bend of the Xingu river is enacted. Belo Monte will inundate at least 400,000 hectares of forest, an area bigger than the Panama Canal, thus expelling 40,000 indigenous and local populations and destroying habitat valuable for many species - all to produce electricity at a high social, economic and environmental cost, which could easily be generated with greater investments in energy efficiency.

Well, this is not why chief Raoni is crying, according to Amazon Watch:

The Kayapo protested in the town of Colider. While many people have seen the photo of Chief Raoni crying, he was not crying in reaction to the Brazilian government's announcement of the license to build the Belo Monte Dam. He was crying because he had reunited with a family member, a common practice among the Kayapo.

"I was not crying because of the government's decision," confirmed Raoni. "I'm going to keep fighting. I am alive and strong, and as long as I'm alive I will continue to fight for my people!"

Even so, the loss these people face should make you cry because it will be devastating and it should be stopped.  If this photo is bringing attention to a very important cause, so be it.  Just correct people on the meaning and then let them know where they can sign the petition linked below.

The image should move you because it is in one moment the failure of our species to protect our planet from ourselves.  It represents a Chief's failure to protect his people from absolute annihilation.  Life as they know it will disappear and for what?

For a dam, that they will get no use from.  And it's not just about a culture, but thousands of acres of wild land and biodiversity gone, forever.

Thankfully, just today, a judge has put a stop on the building of the damn because of the risk that fish stocks would be damaged.

In his ruling, Judge Carlos Castro Martins said that all working on the Belo Monte dam that interfered with the natural course of the Xingu river should be halted because of the risk that fish stocks would be damaged.

The £7bn dam would reputedly be the third largest in the world, after China's Three Gorges and the Itaipu project on the Brazil-Paraguay border.

The injunction is the latest development in a decades-long battle against the Belo Monte dam, plans for which were originally conceived in the mid-1970s but subsequently shelved after major protests.

But it is not just the fish stocks that are the issue, there is just so much more at stake.  And James Cameron has taken this battle on as his own, he produced this video to explain exactly what is at risk, this is the short version.

Please sign the petition, this is about saving biodiversity, about a people and about moving past energy solution that depend on destroying large areas of land and habitat, there are alternatives and Brazilian indigenous leaders aretalking about them with the worldYou can sign the petition here.

Share it, share the photo and tell people the truth about it and why they should STILL CARE.

Much longer video:

Sigourney Weaver Narrates New Google Earth Animation on Brazil's Controversial Belo Monte Dam in the Amazon Rainforest. Amazon Watch and International Rivers have teamed up to create a state-of-the-art 10-minute Google Earth 3-D tour and video narrated by actress Sigourney Weaver, with technical assistance from Google Earth Outreach. The video is in support of Brazil's Movimento Xingu Vivo Para Sempre (Xingu River Forever Alive Movement). The tour allows viewers to learn about the harmful impacts of, and alternatives to the massive Belo Monte Dam Complex on the Amazon's Xingu River. A Portuguese version of the video and tour, narrated by well-known Brazilian actor Dira Paes to be released soon.

Originally posted to Ellinorianne on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 02:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots and Native American Netroots.

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