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

  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Search Continues in Mexico for Missing Students

    Search Continues in Mexico for Missing Students

    Top Story — Police continue to search for over 50 missing students after deadly weekend clashes in Mexico’s Guerrero state left six dead and dozens wounded. The violence began Friday night in the town of Iguala when students from the Ayotzipan teacher training college protested against the school’s unfair hiring practices. Members of the school’s student union claimed that after the protest they attempted to hitchhike back to Ayotzipan on local buses. Authorities maintained the students were forcefully hijacking the […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico Today in Latin America United States Mexican Army Unit Involved in Killings Has a Controversial Record

    Mexican Army Unit Involved in Killings Has a Controversial Record

    Top Story – The Mexican Defense Department has arrested seven soldiers and an army officer as part of an investigation into the alleged massacre of 22 people in San Pedro Limón in June. Those arrested were members of the 102nd Infantry Battalion of the 22nd Military Zone in Mexico State, which has a long history of violent incidents and controversy, reported The Associated Press. Last December, members of the 102nd shot four civilians in the town of Arcelia, Guerrero state, […]

    Read more →
  • Central America El Salvador Photo Essays Community Roundtable in El Salvador Seeks to Mitigate Violence

    Community Roundtable in El Salvador Seeks to Mitigate Violence

    ILOPANGO, El Salvador — In 2012, the two major Salvadoran gangs, MS-13 and the 18th Street Gang, brokered a truce supported by the government. The gang leaders agreed to stop violence and recruitment, to turn in weapons and to begin regular negotiations between incarcerated gang bosses. The homicide rate immediately dropped by half and foot soldiers of both gangs received orders to join local pacification efforts. An unknown number of these efforts cropped up in communities across the country. Some […]

    Read more →
  • Central America El Salvador Guatemala Honduras North America Today in Latin America United States Officials Make Plans to Address Migrant Crisis, Despite Tensions

    Officials Make Plans to Address Migrant Crisis, Despite Tensions

    Top Story – Officials from the U.S., Mexico and Central America are moving to address the unaccompanied minor crisis, but friction over the issue persists. U.S. justice officials met on Thursday with counterparts from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to discuss solutions to the crisis which has affected the U.S. since January, reported EFE. That meeting followed the revelation on Wednesday of working plans for ambitious infrastructure and energy projects in the so-called “Northern Triangle” countries of Central America. […]

    Read more →
  • Argentina Southern Cone Today in Latin America Argentina Attacks Foreign Lenders Amid Economic Crisis

    Argentina Attacks Foreign Lenders Amid Economic Crisis

    Top Story – Argentine leaders lashed out at foreign lenders on Wednesday after a pair of full-page ads ran in two of the country’s leading newspapers. The ads, paid for by an association of bondholders, quoted Germany’s finance minister, who called Argentine policymaking “an example of a lack of strength,” Reuters reported. In response, Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez accused the creditors of practicing “economic and financial terrorism” in her speech to the U.N. General Assembly later on Wednesday. Fernandez criticized […]

    Read more →
  • Brazil Southern Cone Today in Latin America Brazil Refuses to Sign U.N. Forest Initiative

    Brazil Refuses to Sign U.N. Forest Initiative

    Top Story – A plan to eliminate deforestation worldwide in the next 15 years collapsed when Brazil said it would not participate, reported The Associated Press. The United States, Canada and the entire European Union signed the declaration, the first of its kind, during a U.N. climate meeting Tuesday but without Brazil’s involvement the plan will be nearly impossible as the country contains most of the Amazon rainforest, the world’s largest. Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said Brazil was not […]

    Read more →
  • Central America Guatemala Today in Latin America State of Emergency in Guatemala Town After Clashes

    State of Emergency in Guatemala Town After Clashes

    Top Story — Guatemala declared a “state of prevention” Monday in a municipality outside Guatemala City after eleven people died in violence last week, the Associated Press reported. The emergency measures allow for the suspension of constitutional rights, such as the freedom of movement and the right to gather and protest, and will last for a minimum of 15 days. The order also restricts the freedom of the press. Late Sept. 19 an argument between residents of the town of Pajoques […]

    Read more →
  • Colombia Dominican Republic Ecuador North America Peru Photo Essays Puerto Rico Latin Americans March In NYC Against Climate Change

    Latin Americans March In NYC Against Climate Change

    NEW YORK — The People’s Climate March drew more than 300,000 people to Manhattan on Sunday to demand world leaders to take action on climate change. Demonstrators came from all over the world, including many from Latin America. Latino immigrant farmers from Florida and Dominican construction workers from the Bronx also joined the mix. The march in New York, which came as world leaders began to gather here for the opening of the U.N. General Assembly this week, was the largest […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Peru Today in Latin America Peru Announces New Anti-Logging Efforts After Activists Killed

    Peru Announces New Anti-Logging Efforts After Activists Killed

    Top Story – Peru’s government has formed a commission to stop illegal logging on the Peru-Brazil border following the killings of four indigenous leaders of the Ashaninka community in early September, the BBC reported. Anti-logging activist Edwin Chota was shot and killed along with three other Ashaninka leaders near the Brazilian border on Sept. 1, but due to the remoteness of the region their deaths were not reported until a week later. Illegal loggers and the Ashaninka have been in conflict […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Eyewitness Accuses Mexican Troops of Executing Suspects Despite Surrender

    Eyewitness Accuses Mexican Troops of Executing Suspects Despite Surrender

    Top Story — New evidence and an eyewitness report suggest Mexican soldiers executed 21 suspected members of a criminal group this summer following a brief firefight initiated by the troops, the Associated Press reported. The troops reportedly opened fire on the suspected gang members, who were holed up in a warehouse on June 30 in the town of San Pedro Limon in the south of Mexico state. One gunman was killed and two others wounded, while one soldier was injured. When the […]

    Read more →