• Categories
  • Archives

Environmentalists Join Brazilian Indians to Oppose Amazon Dam

Chief Megaron TxucarramaeIndigenous people, environmentalists and social movements in Brazil are condeming news that an environmental license was issued by the Brazilian environmental agency (IBAMA) for the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Dam.

The massive project, slated to be the world’s third largest, would divert the flow of the Xingu River and devastate an extensive area of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, threatening the survival of indigenous peoples.

Brazil’s state investment bank, BNDES is expected to finance up to 49% of the project. The dam is likely to be offered to private investors at an auction in April and construction is to start in late 2010, adding Belo Monte to a list of more than 100 large dams being planned in the Amazon.

Indigenous peoples have been fighting against the project for more than 20 years dating to when the rock star Sting publicized the battle. 

Megaron Txucarramae, a Kayapo chief, says, “We want to make sure that Belo Monte does not destroy the ecosystems and the biodiversity that we have taken care of for millennia. We are opposed to dams on the Xingu, and will fight to protect our river.”

Independent investigations have found that project studies underestimate the extent of Belo Monte’s potential impacts. Two senior IBAMA officials resigned last November after complaining that they had been subjected to political pressure to approve the license.

Francisco Hernandez, an electrical engineer and co-coordinator of a group of 40 specialists who analyzed the project says, “Belo Monte is a project of doubtful engineering viability, an extremely complex project which would depend on the construction not only of one dam, but rather a series of large dams and dykes that would interrupt the flow of water courses over an enormous area, requiring excavation of earth and rocks on the scale of that carried out for digging the Panama Canal.”

Belo Monte would generate little energy during the three to four-month low water period, which does not justify an investment estimated at between US$ 12.3 and US$ 17.5 billion.”

Federal Attorneys have filed suit to force the government to hold additional public hearings to discuss the project’s impacts, and further legal challenges to the project are likely.

Tags:

  • Show Comments (1)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Europe and Latin America in Brazil Discussing Information

Today and tomorrow, November 22 and 23, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is hosting the ...

Brazil to Face International Crisis by Strengthening Domestic Market

In Brazil and Latin American in general stocks marked their own course on Wednesday ...

Foreign Investors Make Brazilian Stocks Boom

Latin American markets had a robust session, with international investors continuing to boost the ...

Brazil Accuses EU of Moving Backwards on WTO Agreement

In a press conference Tuesday, January 24, Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, ...

Brazil Threatens to Expel NGOs and Foreigners from the Amazon

The Brazilian government is drafting a law asserting sovereignty over the often lawless Amazon ...

Brazil Learns That Every US$ 0.43 Invested in Sanitation Saves US$ 2.20 in Health Costs

By investing approximately US$ 305 million, Brazil’s National Health Foundation (FUNASA) hopes to improve ...

Moody’s Gives Brazil’s Embraer Investment Grade Rating

Moody’s Investor Service, one of the largest and most prestigious rating agencies in the ...

Brazil Will Be the US of This Century, Says Lula

Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva reiterated the importance of integration among the ...

Brazil Wants Better Qualification for Its 6 Million Domestic Workers

In 2006, Brazil’s federal government plans to strengthen affirmative actions in the labor field. ...