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Home / News-archive / Brazilian Federal Court Stopped Belo Monte Dam Construction

Brazilian Federal Court Stopped Belo Monte Dam Construction

On Tuesday 14th August a Brazilian federal appeals court ordered to suspend the contruction of the Belo Monte dam

on the Xingu river in the state of Para' until indigenous peoples are properly consuletd on the project.

 

"The court's decision highlights the urgent need for the Brazilian government and Congress to respect the federal constitution and international agreements on prior consultations with indigenous peoples regarding projects that put their livelihoods and territories at risk. Human rights and environmental protection cannot be subordinated to narrow business interests" said the author of the ruling, federal judge Souza Prudente.

The plan to build the third largest dam i n the world started during Brazil's military dictatorship and is currently one of the key projects in the government's efforts to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. The dam is eventually expected to produce 11.000 megawatts of electricity.

According to the government Belo Monte will flood an area of 500 square km along the Xingu River, causing the relocation of 16.000 peple. However, NGOs estimate that the number of displaced people may reach 40.000. Amazon Watch also points that the construction will attract 100.000 migrants in the region, but only 40.000 jobs will be created at the height of construction, and of these only 2.000 long-term.

The Norte Energia consortium, which is building the dam, will still have the opportunity to appeal. Nevertheless, environmental and Human Rights associations welcome the judgment of the brazilian court and call on the government to accept the decision.

Francesca Ghersenti. International Democracy Watch. 21 August 2012.

 

 
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