Munduruku and Greenpeace demarcate Indigenous Lands in the heart of the Amazon

Press release - 15 June, 2016
Itaituba, Pára State, Brazil, 15 June 2016 - The Munduruku Indigenous Peoples and Greenpeace Brazil joined forces today in an unofficial, community-led demarcation of their land, deep in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon.

The demarcation is the latest effort in a global campaign to protect the Tapajós River from the construction of a massive dam – the São Luiz do Tapajós (SLT). The Munduruku, fighting for the formal recognition of their land for many years, have sparked a global movement for the protection of the Tapajós and are calling on global companies to distance themselves from the controversial project.

“This an important battle not just for the Munduruku people, but for everyone around the world since we are talking about one of the biggest forests that still exist in the planet,” says Juarez, the chief (cacique) of Munduruku Sawré Muybu Indigenous land.

The land demarcation involves marking the land with fifty signs, similar to those used by the Brazilian government, to indicate the territory is Munduruku land. The demarcation process would normally be executed by the federal government as the next step in formal Indigenous Land recognition. A report in April [1] by FUNAI (the Brazilian Indigenous Rights Agency) recognised this area as Munduruku traditional land. Questions around Indigenous land rights have also resulted in the suspension of the licensing process for the SLT dam but the formal land ownership process has not yet moved forward.

Placing the signs is one of a range of activities at the Sawré Muybu indigenous village, including installing solar panels in the community, that Munduruku and Greenpeace activists will collaborate on in the coming weeks to draw international attention to the threat of the destruction of the Tapajós River.

"We are standing with the Munduruku to help ensure their rights are upheld and the dam licensing is cancelled once and for all,” said Greenpeace Brazil Amazon Project Leader Tica Minami. "Not only will this dam change the Munduruku way of life forever, it will also have massive impacts on the special, endemic biodiversity of the region."

If approved, the SLT dam would be the first of five planned in the Tapajós River. It would have a reservoir of 729 square kilometers (almost the size of New York City), flooding part of the Munduruku land and drive an estimated 2,200 square kilometers of indirect deforestation as a result of roads and other infrastructure related to the construction and migration to the area.

Greenpeace is calling on international companies like Siemens to confirm they will not get involved in the project by supplying components like the generators. Although their company profile is focussed on green solutions, Siemens were involved in the controversial Belo Monte dam, the most recent destructive dam to be built in the Amazon.

"Siemens is known for their leadership in renewables and technical innovation. However they may provide the parts needed to build this dam, in direct contrast to their green image. Siemens must confirm they will not get involved in this unwanted, unnecessary and devastating dam," said Tica Minami.




Greenpeace Brazil's report ‘Damning the Amazon: The Risky Business of Hydropower in the Amazon’ can be found here.


Luana Lila, Amazon Communications, Greenpeace Brazil, +55 92 98114-4516,

Greenpeace International Press Desk, +31 (0)20 718 2470 (available 24 hours),

Photos and Videos:

Additional images from the Tapajós here: