Despite Indians and Greens Opposition Brazil Goes Ahead with Amazon Dam

Minister Carlos Minc of Environment in BrazilThe Brazilian government has given the go-ahead to a controversial project to build a massive hydroelectric dam in the heart of the Amazon jungle. Brazil’s environmental protection agency has said yes despite objections from environmentalists and indigenous people who live in the area.

To be built in the jungle state of Pará, the Belo Monte dam on the Xingu River will be the third largest in the world with a capacity of 11,000 megawatts, as Brazil seeks to meet rising demand for electricity from its expanding economy.

Environmentalists argue that the dam will upset the region’s delicate ecosystem, while local indigenous groups fear its construction will draw thousands of outsiders seeking work to one of Brazil’s remotest regions.

Erwin Krautler, the Catholic bishop of Xingu and head of the church’s Indian missionary council, says going ahead with the dam would have “unforeseeable consequences” among the region’s indigenous people. “These people will cry, they will shout, they will rise up,” he warned.

In 2008, local Indians attacked an engineer from Brazil’s state electricity company after he gave a lecture to them on the proposed dam, ripping off his shirt before cutting him with machetes.

Brazil’s environment minister Carlos Minc, announcing approval of the US$ 16.8 billion dam, admitted there was deep hostility to such projects, telling reporters: “Every hydroelectric plant is a war. The government wants them all approved and environmentalists want none.”

But he said Belo Monte would help Brazil in its quest to reduce carbon emissions. Latin America’s largest economy gets almost four-fifths of its electricity from hydroelectric plants.

The minister also said the original plan for a string of four dams flooding an area of 1,500 sq km had been scaled back on environmental grounds: “This would have made life in the region unviable. Now it will be one dam flooding 500 sq km.”

He insisted no indigenous peoples living on reservations would be among the estimated 12,000 people who will have to move because of the artificial lake the dam will create.

Mercopress

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published.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

Brazilian Machinery Exports Grow 39% Resulting in Surplus

In spite of the appreciation of the Brazilian real in relation to the American ...

Brazil Can’t Compete on Cost or Gumption with China

So as to reach Arab consumers, most of the Brazilian companies face a challenge: ...

Chavez Withdraws Ultimatum to Brazil While Waiting to Get into Mercosur

Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez, warned on Wednesday that if Venezuela's entry into Mercosur is ...

Arab Summit: Now in Brazil, Next in Morocco

The Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, announced that the next meeting of ...

No Visas Required as Brazil and South America Create Friendly Community

The twelve countries which make up the South American Community of Nations signed Friday ...

Brazil's Petrobras offshore platform

Nigeria Adds Ethanol to Its Gas and Brazil Is Supplying the Additive

Brazilian state-owned oil company Petrobras will sell, in the following days, an initial shipment ...

Entrepreneur’s Fair 2.0 Comes to Brazil

Brazil’s Entrepreneur’s Fair to be held in Minas Gerais state has two main objectives, ...

Bribery Charges Hit Brazil’s Finance Minister and Markets

Latin American markets were mixed to lower on the day, as Brazil posted another ...

Fearing Inflation Brazil Gets Ready to Hike Interest Rates

The president of Brazil's Central Bank, Henrique de Campos Meirelles said that his bank ...