Brazil Tribes Grab 'Burial Ground' Dam Workers

Hostages freed as Indians demand reparations
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2010 1:16 AM CDT
Indians protest the construction of a hydroelectric dam project outside the National Electrical Energy Association in Brasilia.   (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

(Newser) – A group of 300 Brazilian Indians from eight tribes have freed some 100 dam workers that were held hostage for over 24 hours in an action protesting construction of a dam over an ancient burial ground. The Indians—wearing war paint and brandishing bows and arrows—encircled the dam site in the western Amazon, protesting the hydroelectric project, CNN reports.

The Indians freed lower-level workers first and let five senior construction company employees go after the government agreed to hold talks with their leaders. No injuries were reported during the incident. Tribal leaders are demanding that the hydroelectric firm pay reparations for building on sacred ground, although the plant's manager claims what the Indians are really after is improved living conditions, which he says is the government's business.

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