Belo Monte Stops/Then Starts…

I’ve blogged about this before (see also…) and some progress seems to have been made.  On the other hand this project started in 1975 and lingers on.  It may be that the backers of the dam are waiting for the protesters to die off.

The people who are protesting don’t (most of them) hug trees, they live and raise their families there.  But in the 36 years since inception SOME people have invested a lot of money invested and see a see a lot of benefit in the completion of the dam, which doesn’t look good. However, if it means anything, the movement continues.

Unfortunately, an article in the says construction has begun.

Inter-American Commission orders Brazil government to halt controversial dam 6 April

Indians protesting against the Belo Monte dam
© Telma Monteiro/ Survival

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has ordered the Brazilian government to suspend construction of the Belo Monte dam until the rights of the thousands of indigenous people in the area are respected.

The Belo Monte dam, if built, would devastate over 1500 km2 of land and reduce fish stocks upon which numerous tribes in the area depend for their survival.

The Commission has asked the Brazilian authorities to consult all the indigenous communities that will be affected by the dam before construction can continue, in accordance with Brazilian and international law.

It has also urged that the Brazilian authorities adopt ‘comprehensive measures’ to protect the lives of the uncontacted Indians in the area and to prevent disease from spreading.

The dam particularly threatens the uncontacted Indians, whose lives are at risk from the wave of immigration the dam construction would bring. These Indians have little immunity to outside diseases like ‘flu, which could be fatal for them.

Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to the Commission’s demands by stating that the authorities were ‘perplexed’ by the Commission’s ‘unjustified’ demands.

Sheyla Juruna, whose tribe is concerned about the devastation the dam would bring, said, ‘If the government doesn’t respond to the Commission’s points, it will create a really bad image for itself amongst national and international society… We will maintain our firm resistance against the implementation of the Belo Monte dam complex’.

Last month, Sheyla traveled to Europe to protest against the dam.

Read the IACHR’s demands to the Brazilian government in English or Portuguese (pdf).


About carlos

I'm a curious person, of reasonable intellect, "on the beach" (retired) and enjoying my interest in anthropology, language, civil rights, and a few other areas. I've been a hippie/student/aerospace tech writer in the '60s, a witness to the Portuguese revolution in the ‘70s, a defense test engineer and witness to the Guatemalan genocide in the '80s, and a network engineer for an ISP in the '90s. Now I’m a student and commentator until my time is up. I've spent time under the spell of the Mesoamerican pyramids and the sweet sound of the Portuguese language. I've lived in Europe, traveled in Brazil, Central America, Iceland, New Zealand, and other places. My preferred mode of travel is with a backpack and I eat (almost) anything local. Somehow, many of the countries I have been to have had civil unrest (for which I was not responsible). I'm open to correspond with anyone who might share my liberal, humanist interests. I live in San Buenaventura, California.
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