“One of the good things about living here is that it is — or at least it was, before the pandemic — possible to coexist and share ideas, sips of coffee and food bites with the very people you write about and work with.” This is how anthropologist Thais Mantovanelli, a researcher at the Instituto Socioambiental, an NGO that defends Indigenous and environmental rights in Brazil, describes her life in Altamira. This municipality in the Amazonian state of Pará is ripe with land ownership conflicts and violence. Mantovanelli received her doctorate in social anthropology from São Carlos Federal University in 2016, and after having split her time between São Paulo and Pará states for around five years, she moved to Altamira for good in 2017. There, she works with the Mẽbengokre-Xikrin and Juruna Yudjá peoples, who run an independent monitoring of the effects the Belo Monte dam has had over their territories at the Volta Grande do Xingu region, southeast from Altamira at the margins of the Xingu River. These tribes have suffered the impact of Belo Monte not only through the violence rates that have skyrocketed in the region, but also because fishing has become more difficult. The  flow rate of the Xingu has been throttled down, greatly restraining the piracema, the reproductive season when several fish species migrate to shallow areas and fountainheads to spawn. Mantovanelli said the Xingu’s flow rate in Volta Grande before the dam was built was 25,000 cubic meters per second (m3/s), or about…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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