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Maria Elena de Araujo Silva

María Elena de Araujo Silva

HRD, Coordinator
Movimento Xingu Vivo Para Sempre

Maria Elena is the Coordinator of a group of women within the ''Movimento Xingu Vivo Para Sempre''(MXVPS), a collective which was formed in 2008, by a number of organisations, indigenous and non-indigenous communities, environmentalists, women's movements and human rights movements who altogether oppose the construction of hydroelectric dams in the river of Xingu in the north of Brazil. MXVPS is particularly active in the resistance against the construction of the dams of Belo Monte on the river Xingu, and raises awareness and mobilization along with the indigenous and non-indigenous communities living there and threatened by these dams projects. Among many other things, Elena plays an active role in organising and carrying out mass peaceful demonstrations in the city of Altamira (state of Pará), coordinating with the civil society and the governmental bodies responsible for the protection of human rights, denouncing human rights and environmental rights violations (ie. irregularities and illegalities linked to the construction of the dams), accompanying court cases of families of farmers and river communities, and finally providing support to the at-risk indigenous communities Munduruku. Due to their work in the region of Xingu and Tapajós, Elena and her colleagues face many risks, including receive constant threats and have been monitored in the past


Challenges and threats faced by human rights defenders in Brazil remain very high, particularly for those working on issues of land, environment, indigenous peoples, LGBTi rights, corruption and impunity.


Maria Elena de Araujo Silva Testimony - 2015 Dublin Platform