Altamira Gathering
The Altamira Gathering was a five day media conference organized by the Kayapo
Kayapo people
The Kayapo people are the Gê-speaking native peoples of the plain lands of the Mato Grosso and Pará in Brazil, south of the Amazon Basin and along Rio Xingu and its tributaries.In 2003, their population was 7,096....

 people in an effort to raise awareness of the ecological and political atrocities committed by the Brazilian government.

Between February 19 and 24 in 1989 over 600 Amazonian Indians
Indigenous peoples in Brazil
The Indigenous peoples in Brazil comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country prior to the European invasion around 1500...

 gathered at the port city of Altamira at the banks of the Xingu river
Xingu River
The Xingu River , also called Rio Xingu, is a 1,230-mile long, river in north Brazil; it is a southeast tributary of the Amazon River.-Description and history:...

. The protest was organized by the Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon
Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon
Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon or COIAB is a Brazilian indigenous organization composed by several indigenous rights organizations of the Brazilian Amazon Basin. It was created at a meeting of indigenous leaders in April 1989 and is now composed of 75 member...


The Altamira Gathering was the first large gathering of all groups that were threatened by the creation of the Belo Monte Dam
Belo Monte Dam
The Belo Monte Dam is a proposed hydroelectric dam complex on the Xingu River in the state of Pará, Brazil...

. Over 500 Kayapo and 100 members of 40 other indigenous nations who the Kayapo invited to join them rallied to voice their views on the dams and the destruction of the forest. Five days of meetings, speeches, press conferences, and ritual performances by the Kayapo were executed without a major hitch.

Much of the credit for the event belongs to the Ecumenical Center for Documentation and Information (CEDI). The event required handling many logistical tasks that led to the success of the meeting; this included the transportation, lodging, and feeding of hundreds of indigenous people while constructing a large encampment with traditional Kayapo shelters outside the town.

After being picked up by the international media circuit the Pope sent a telegram and the rock star Sting flew in to give a press conference in support of the Altamira Gathering. The event was successful due to the large international support raised by the media. Within two weeks the World Bank announced that would not confer the loan earmarked for the dam. The Brazilian National Congress also announced plans to conduct a formal investigation into the entire plan.
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