BRAZIL AUTHORIZES OPERATION OF THE BELO MONTE DAM, DISREGARDING THE RIGHTS OF AFFECTED COMMUNITIES
Altamira, Brazil. The Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) on Tuesday authorized the Belo Monte Dam’s operating license, which allows the dam’s reservoirs to be filled. The authorization was granted despite clear noncompliance with conditions necessary to guarantee the life, health and integrity of affected communities; the same conditions that IBAMA called essential in its technical report of September 22. IBAMA’s decision makes no reference to conditions needed to protect affected indigenous peoples.
“We can’t believe it,” said Antonia Melo, leader of Movimiento Xingú Vivo para Siempre, who was displaced by the dam’s construction. “This is a crime. Granting the license for this monster was an irresponsible decision on the part of the government and IBAMA. The president of IBAMA was in Altamira on November 5 and received a large variety of complaints. Everyone – riverside residents, indigenous representatives, fishermen, and members of the movement – talked about the negative impacts we’re living with. And now they grant the license with more conditions, which will only continue to be violated.” Continue reading “Go-Ahead given for Belo Monte Dam,”
July 26, 2012
Three engineers are being held hostage by the Juruna and Arara indigenous tribes as tensions rise over the on-going construction of the Belo Monte dam in Brazil, reports the Indigenous rights NGO Amazon Watch. The company building the dam, Norte Energia, has confirmed that three of its employees were being held against their will. Tribal groups in the region say the massive dam will upend their way of life, and that construction is already making travel along the Xingu river difficult.
The $11 billion Belo Monte is expected to flood more than 40,000 hectares of rainforest, displacing 16,000 people according to the government and 40,000 according to critics. Eighty percent of the Xingu’s flow will be rerouted, impacting fish migrations and perhaps even sending some species into extinction. If completed, the dam will be the world’s third largest. Continue reading “Tribes hold 3 engineers in Belo Monte struggle”
Altamira, Brazil – Hundreds of indigenous leaders, fishermen and riverine people from the Xingu River basin have gathered to occupy the Belo Monte Dam construction site in a peaceful protest to stop its construction in Altamira, located in the state of Pará in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon. They
- Poor barrio of Altimira to be permanently flooded by Belo Monte
have vowed to permanently occupy the site and are calling on allied organizations and movements to join them.
Work has been stopped while various legal cases are got rid of, with the politicians bought off by the ‘progress’ business and landlord nationalist lobby, while most people oppose the dam , as well as the amnesty for forest crimes and opening up of the Amazon with the new ‘Forest Code’.
Below: a report on the protest from Amazon Watch; and a declaration from the Xingu Alliance.
The Trans-Amazon Highway (BR-230) has been blocked around the Santo Antônio village, where it passes the proposed construction site. Groups are demanding the presence of a Brazilian government high-level official at the site to initiate a new round of negotiations that are transparent, inclusive and respectful of the rights of local people affected by the dam.
On Apr. 1, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights IACHR recommended that the Brazilian government “immediately suspend the licensing process for the Belo Monte hydroelectric project” and “any material works” to protect the rights of local indigenous people.
This “abrupt change, without precedent in the democratic history of Brazil, indicates a breakdown of dialogue within the multilateral (Organisation of American States) system,” Caldas said at the news briefing.