Brazil: Judge Suspends Belo Monte Dam Construction In Amazon

September 30, 2011 7:38 am 1 comment
Brazil: Judge Suspends Belo Monte Dam Construction In Amazon

An artistic representation of the planned Belo Monte dam on the Xingu River.

Today in Latin America

Top Story– According to a decision posted on a Brazilian court website, a judge has suspended construction on the country’s $11 billion Belo Monte dam project because it could harm fishing by indigenous communities on the Xingu River. The Brazilian government, which is keen to build the 11,000-megawatt damn to fuel the country’s growing economy, said it would appeal the ruling. The Norte Energia consortium, which is building what would be the world’s third-largest hydroelectric energy producer, said it had not been informed of the ruling. The Belo Monte has gone through a number of redesigns since being proposed in 1979 and has stirred controversy almost since its inception. While the Brazilian government says the dam will be a source of renewable, clean energy with little environmental impact, indigenous groups and environmentalists — including film director James Cameron and musician Sting — claim the dam would destroy wildlife and endanger the livelihoods of 40,000 people who live in the region.

This is not the first time the project has been suspended. In February a judge ruled that work should be halted – only to have his ruling usurped by a higher federal court judge a week later.

Read More From The Washington Post.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America

Caribbean

Central America

Andes

Southern Cone

Image: Minplanpac @ Flickr.

Subscribe to Today in Latin America by Email

1 Comment

  • Excellent article,

    The World Bank estimates that forcible “development-induced displacement and resettlement” now affects 10 million people per year. According to the World Bank an estimated 33 million people have been displaced by development projects such as dams, urban development and irrigation canals in India alone.

    India is well ahead in this respect. A country with as many as over 3600 large dams within its belt can never be the exceptional case regarding displacement. The number of development induced displacement is higher than the conflict induced displacement in India. According to Bogumil Terminski an estimated more than 10 million people have been displaced by development each year.

    Athough the exact number of development-induced displaced people (DIDPs) is difficult to know, estimates are that in the last decade 90–100 million people have been displaced by urban, irrigation and power projects alone, with the number of people displaced by urban development becoming greater than those displaced by large infrastructure projects (such as dams). DIDPs outnumber refugees, with the added problem that their plight is often more concealed.

    This is what experts have termed “development-induced displacement.” According to Michael Cernea, a World Bank analyst, the causes of development-induced displacement include water supply (dams, reservoirs, irrigation); urban infrastructure; transportation (roads, highways, canals); energy (mining, power plants, oil exploration and extraction, pipelines); agricultural expansion; parks and forest reserves; and population redistribution schemes.

Leave a Reply


Other News

  • Andes Today in Latin America Venezuela Obama Signs Bill Authorizing Sanctions Against Venezuelan Officials

    Obama Signs Bill Authorizing Sanctions Against Venezuelan Officials

    The Latin America News Dispatch will take a short break from publishing our daily newsletter Today in Latin America to celebrate the holidays. Felices Fiestas from the Latin America News Dispatch staff. Top Story — U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday signed a law placing sanctions on “persons responsible for violations of human rights in Venezuela,” the White House press secretary said in a statement. The sanctions bill will freeze the U.S. assets of, and strip visas from, officials responsible […]

    Read more →
  • Cuba Dispatches North America United States Cuba ‘Not Open For Business’ Just Yet

    Cuba ‘Not Open For Business’ Just Yet

    The United States and Cuba may be normalizing relations, but don’t expect a major trade boom for now. While the changes announced by President Obama will widen the types of financial transactions allowed between the two countries and permit more forms of trade and travel, a broadly restrictive embargo on trade with Cuba remains in place, and firmly under the control of the U.S. Congress. As U.S. diplomats prepare to set up an embassy in Havana for the first time […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Cuba North America Today in Latin America Latin America Lauds U.S., Cuba Breakthrough

    Latin America Lauds U.S., Cuba Breakthrough

    Top Story — World leaders have almost universally praised the U.S. and Cuban governments for their announcement Wednesday that they would normalize diplomatic relations for the first time since 1961. Reaction among U.S. lawmakers, however, was more mixed. Latin American leaders across the ideological spectrum lauded the decision that will have sweeping impacts across the region. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos praised “the courage and the audacity of President Barack Obama and the Cuban government,” and Mexican President Enrique Peña […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Cuba News Briefs North America United Nations United States Transcript: Obama’s Cuba Speech

    Transcript: Obama’s Cuba Speech

    Below is a full transcript of President Obama’s speech on Cuba. A video of the speech can be found following the transcript. OBAMA: Good afternoon. Today, the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba. In the most significant changes in our policy in more than fifty years, we will end an outdated approach that, for decades has failed to advance our interests, and instead, we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries. […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Cuba News Briefs North America United States U.S., Cuba to Restore Diplomatic Ties, But Embargo Remains

    U.S., Cuba to Restore Diplomatic Ties, But Embargo Remains

    The U.S. and Cuba will work to normalize diplomatic relations for the first time since 1961, President Obama said Wednesday, a major shift in policy that nonetheless falls short of the outright removal of the U.S. economic blockade on the island. The announcement comes after Cuba’s release of American aid contractor Alan Gross from prison, in exchange for the release of three Cubans jailed in the state of Florida for espionage — a sign of good faith between the two […]

    Read more →
  • Brazil Southern Cone Today in Latin America Charges Filed Against Brazilian Lawmaker After Rape Remarks

    Charges Filed Against Brazilian Lawmaker After Rape Remarks

    Top Story — Brazil’s attorney general filed charges of incitement to rape against Brazilian congressman Jair Bolsonaro after he made violent comments to a fellow lawmaker in Congress last Tuesday, saying, “I wouldn’t rape you. You’re not worth it.” It is the second time Bolsonaro, a right-wing representative from Rio de Janeiro state known for misogynist remarks, has used the word inappropriately in Congress. Bolsonaro’s comments were directed at Maria do Rosário, a former secretary of human rights, as she […]

    Read more →
  • Central America Dispatches Honduras Alternatives to Detention Leave Some Honduran Immigrants in “Shackles”

    Alternatives to Detention Leave Some Honduran Immigrants in “Shackles”

    NEW YORK — On an average weekday Eva, a 39-year-old woman from Honduras, never leaves a 15-block radius in the Bronx. From bringing her two children to school, to taking English classes, visiting her church and running errands, her life is mapped on a now-familiar route — one that is precisely tracked by the electronic monitoring device strapped to her ankle. Eva, who asked to have her name changed because she is currently going through deportation hearings, received the device […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Haiti Today in Latin America Haitian Prime Minister Defends Record After Resignation

    Haitian Prime Minister Defends Record After Resignation

    Top Story — Haiti’s Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe spoke out on Monday, defending his legacy after an independent commission set up by President Michel Martelly pressured him to resign over the weekend. Several other ministers also stepped down amid a political standoff that has been years in the making. Lamothe’s resignation comes in the wake of continued anti-government protests demanding elections that have been delayed since 2011. On Friday, U.N. peacekeepers were seen firing at a crowd of protesters while […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Mexican Federal Police Implicated in Student Killings

    Mexican Federal Police Implicated in Student Killings

    Top Story — Federal authorities in Mexico appear to have participated in the September attack on a group of teacher trainees in the state of Guerrero, contrary to prior government claims, according to an investigation released Saturday by Proceso magazine. Proceso’s investigation reportedly uncovered state documents that show federal police officers knew the attack was ongoing and even shot at the students as they travelled on several buses toward a protest event in Iguala, Guerrero. After that attack, 43 of […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Cuba News Briefs Cuban Laws May Have Changed, But the Jokes Haven’t

    Cuban Laws May Have Changed, But the Jokes Haven’t

    In 2010, I found myself among hundreds of heeled and hairsprayed Cubans in Havana’s Teatro Karl Marx waiting for the start of the Premios Lucas — a sort of MTV Video Music Awards of Cuba. Hosted by beloved comedian Luis Silva and with performances by pop, rock and reggaeton groups, “Los Lucas” was sure to be a revelatory peek into the popular culture consumption of my Cuban peers. Los Lucas did not disappoint. Every moment of the two-hour show was […]

    Read more →