By Tom Phillips
But in many of the Xingu's indigenous villages, the man they call Camerón has been an instant hit. "It's very important that he has come here," said Mokuka Kayapó, a leader from the Moikarako village, after meeting the Canadian director. "Now he must invite us to go where he lives to tell the people our truth, in our language."
Cameron also defends himself from accusations of meddling. "I think one of the biggest questions is: 'What is your standing? What are you gringos doing here? What gives you the right to tell us how to run things within our country? It's our problem, it's not your problem.' I get all that," he said. "But North America is Brazil's future. We can come to Brazil from the future and say: 'Don't do this.'
"If this goes forward then every other hydroelectric project in the Amazon basin gets a blank cheque. It's now a global issue. The Amazon rainforest is so big and so powerful a piece of the overall climate picture that its destruction will affect everyone."
For starters, he isn't just criticizing the government. He's criticizing the government on behalf of the indigenous people whom the government doesn't represent. If they asked him to butt out, it would be a different story, but they clearly want his help.
Also, as Cameron notes, the fate of the Amazon rainforest affects us all. Like the oceans or Antarctica, it really should be an international resource. I wouldn't mind if the United Nations or whoever declared it one.
In short, when Brazil's actions start depriving Indians of their lives and the planet of oxygen, I'd say we have the right to intervene. If Brazil doesn't like it, too bad.
For more on the subject, see Cameron: Lakota = "Dead-End Society" and Dam Suspended with Cameron's Help.