Brazil: Another Belo Monte Occupation; Teles Pires Dam Suspended

Indigenous warriors occupying the construction site of the Belo Monte dam in Brazil, May 2013

20th September, Two bits of good news from anti-dam struggles in Brazil:

• On September 16, 150 indigenous people affected by the construction of the Belo Monte Dam complex in the Brazilian Amazon occupied one of the project’s principle work camps, halting construction activities on a section of the world’s third largest dam. Members of the local Parakan√£ and Juruna indigenous communities blocked a main access road to demand that the dam-building consortium Norte Energia respect its obligation to remove land invaders from local indigenous territories. The mobilization marks the eighth time Belo Monte has been occupied since 2012. Read more.

• The same day, a federal judge ordered the immediate suspension of construction on the Teles Pires hydroelectric project – one of five large dams planned for the Teles Pires River, a major tributary of the Tapaj√≥s River in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon. In response to a civil lawsuit filed by Brazil’s Federal Public Prosecutors’ Office (MPF), the decision cites “unforgivable failures” in the environmental licensing of the dam, especially in terms of prior analysis of impacts on the Kayabi, Munduruku and Apiaka indigenous people and their territories. According to the decision of Judge Souza Prudente, construction of the Teles Pires Dam consortium must be halted until the indigenous component of the EIA is completed and formally approved by FUNAI. Analysts expect the Brazilian President’s administration to appeal the ruling. Read more.