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Belo Monte Justice Now! Legal Campaign

Tuesday, November 6, 2012
The Brazilian Judiciary’s handling of serious irregularities in the licensing process for the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam on the Amazon’s Xingu River has been roundly questioned by Brazilian and international civil society as well as by Brazil’s Federal Public Ministry and Public Defenders.

Seeking Justice On Dams and Human Rights in Mexico

International Rivers' Monti Aguirre has been invited to be a judge at a pre-hearing of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal (PPT) on environmental destruction, which will take place November 5-6 in Temacapulín, Mexico. They will review documentation and hear from dam-affected or threatened peoples from El Zapotillo, Cerro de Oro, Paso de la Reina, La Parota and El Naranjal dams.

Peru-Brazil Energy Agreement Challenged in Peru Court

Sunday, February 19, 2012
Lima, Peru: A lawsuit filed last Thursday against the Peruvian Congress and the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Relations seeks suspension of the Peru-Brazil energy agreement signed by the Energy Ministers of Peru and Brazil in June 2010. The Central Ashaninka of the Ene River (CARE), an indigenous group, filed the lawsuit at the Superior Court of Justice in Lima seeking an injunction against the agreement, asserting that the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples are threatened. "The rights to life, integrity, freedom, lands and free prior informed consent of indigenous peoples are threatene

Analysis of International Environmental Laws Implicated by Decision to Approve Construction of the Xayaburi Dam

Laos may violate five points of international environmental law if it proceeds with the Xayaburi Dam as proposed, according to a legal memorandum submitted on November 22, 2011 to the Mekong River Commission and regional governments. The legal analysis, written by the U.S. law firm Perkins Coie, analyzes several obligations under international environmental law that Lao PDR may violate if it allows the construction of the Xayaburi Dam: The EIA for the Xayaburi Dam should be redone to conform to international expectations for a large dam on a transboundary river, which includes detailed analysi

Landmark Vote Upholds Indigenous Rights on Belo Monte

The Xikrin Kayapó recently told Public Prosecutor Felicio Pontes about the government's lack of prior consultations
On Monday, federal judge Selene Maria de Almeida voted in a landmark opinion in Brazilian courts that the Belo Monte Dam licenses are illegal and must be cancelled due to what is now widely-accepted evidence that the Brazilian government did not hold proper consultations with indigenous tribes that would be affected by the project. De Almeida argued that while the dam reservoirs do not flood indigenous territories, the project's diversion of the Xingu River will directly impact the tribes' abilities to reproduce physically, culturally, and economically, as 80% of the Xingu River would be chann

Legal Roadblock to Damming Patagonia

This morning saw a great success for the legal team working in Chile to stop the destructive HidroAysén project in Patagonia. The Appellate Court in Puerto Montt accepted three recursos de protección – roughly equivalent to injunctions – which means that the project is on hold for up to three months until these issues are resolved. These recursos are an important and welcome addition to the ongoing Chilean and international campaign to stop these unnecessary dams in the breathtaking corner of the world known as Patagonia. The injunctions were filed against the approval of the HidroAys

Temacapulín Detiene la Obra en El Zapotillo para Cancelar Definitivamente la Construcción de la Presa.

Sunday, March 27, 2011
El MAPDER se presenta en El Zapotillo para instalar sesión extraordinaria con aliados de todo el país en solidaridad con la acción contundente de Temacapulín.Llamamos a grupos ciudadanos, instituciones y organismos internacionales a que monitoreen que no seamos víctimas de hostigamiento o represión policiaca por parte del aparato estatal, grupos de choque, paramilitares o cualquier grupo armado en la zona alteña.Anoche tras sostener asamblea comunitaria de emergencia en Temacapulín, se hicieron sonar las campanas de la Basílica de la Virgen de los Remedios para convocar a todo el pueb

Laos’ Nam Theun 2 Dam Operation Illegal

Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Project begins selling power to Thailand in violation of Concession Agreement and obligations to affected communitiesLaos’ largest and most controversial hydropower project, Nam Theun 2, began full operation last week in violation of legal obligations to provide compensation and livelihood restoration to affected communities. In an attempt to avoid its obligations, the Nam Theun 2 Power Company (NTPC) called last week’s commencement of power production “commercial export” of electricity rather than “commercial operation” which would require compliance with Concession Agreement prov

Series: Legal Strategies for Latin America

Thursday, February 1, 2007
From February 2007 World Rivers Review Legal Aid: Lessons Learned from Using the Law in Latin American Dam CasesThe fundamental rights of peoples and the environment are for the most part protected in the constitutions of many Latin American countries and the international agreements they signed. But too often projects are approved that disregard national and international laws on human rights, social issues and environmental protections. Many projects have been slowed, stopped or changed after affected communities filed legal actions to defend their fundamental rights. IRN talked to three la

Chixoy Dam Legacy Issues: Overview

Chixoy Dam–Affected Communities and the Rio Negro Massacres
Thursday, March 17, 2005
The Chixoy Dam and its Pueblo Viejo Hydroelectric facility, built by INDE (Instituto Nacional de Electrificación) with financing from the Inter–American Development Bank and the World Bank, is the major source of electrical power for the nation of Guatemala. Chixoy Dam–Affected Communities and the Rio Negro Massacres Designs for this facility were approved, the project financed, and construction begun in 1975 without notifying the local population. Construction began without conducting a comprehensive census of affected peoples, without legal acquisition of all the land supporting the


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