Press Release

Belo Monte Auction Goes Forward after 
Court Overrules Second Injunction

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Massive Protests Underway Today in Nine Cities in Brazil Brasilia, Brazil - 
Today's bidding process for the controversial Belo Monte Dam project was marked by protests and confusion as a second injunction issued late yesterday suspended the dam auction overnight, throwing the bidding process into a state of chaos just minutes before it was set to begin.   Throughout Brazil, indigenous, environmental and social movements organized protests in more than nine cities in eight states. Internationally, phone calls begun pouring into Brazilian Embassies, condemning the government's

Federal Judge Suspends Belo Monte Auction and Environmental License

Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Translated from Portuguese A Federal Judge in Altamira upheld one of the Federal Public Ministry’s civil lawsuits dealing with irregularities in the process for approval of the Belo Monte hydroelectric project. The Federal Court ordered the suspension of Belo Monte’s preliminary license and the cancellation of the auction, scheduled for next Tuesday, April 20. Judge Antonio Carlos de Almeida Campelo granted an urgent preliminary injunction as he sees a "danger of irreparable harm" that could be caused by the project, considering the imminence of the auction. The decisi

Justiça suspende leilão e licença de Belo Monte

Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Juiz federal de Altamira concordou com o MPF em uma das ações civis públicas que tratam das irregularidades no empreendimento. A Justiça Federal determinou a suspensão da licença prévia da hidrelétrica de Belo Monte e o cancelamento do leilão, marcado para a próxima terça (20/04). O juiz Antonio Carlos de Almeida Campelo concedeu medida liminar (urgente) por ver “perigo de dano irreparável”, com a iminência da licitação. A decisão é fruto da apreciação de uma das duas ações civis públicas ajuizadas pelo Ministério Público Federal tratando das irregular

The Qinghai Earthquake and Dams

Wednesday, April 14, 2010
International Rivers Media Advisory Another terrible earthquake has struck China. The 7.1 tremor with an epicenter near Jiegu in Yushu County on the Qinghai Plateau has killed at least 400 people. According to Chinese news reports, the Changu (or Thrangu in Tibetan) hydropower dam was damaged by the earthquake, and is "at the risk of collapse at any time." The Changu (Thrangu) Project is located upstream of the county seat, Jiegu, and is clearly visible on Google Earth. If the dam breaks, it would endanger the lives of more than 100,000 people living downstream. International Ri

Death Threats Over the Movement to Stop El Zapotillo Dam

Friday, April 9, 2010
Press release by IMDEC and MAPDER 9 April 2010 Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico Members of the Committe to Save Temaca, Acasico and Palmarejo, a Human Rights Activist, and a Journalist Threated Over the Movement to Stop El Zapotillo Dam On Saturday April 3, 2010, in Temacapulín, Jalisco, Mexico, brothers Jesus and Juan Manuel Agustín Jiménez Carvajal, members of the Committee to Save Temaca, Palmarejo, and Acasico; Marco Joachim von Borstel Nilsson, a member of the Mexican Institute for Community Development (IMDEC); and Jade Ramirez Cuevas Villanueva, a journalist for News Medi

Civil Society Groups File Official Complaint on Belo Monte Dam with United Nations

Thursday, April 1, 2010
UN Special Rapporteurs Asked to Investigate Irregularities in Project Approval A document delivered to the United Nations last Thursday, April 1, claims that flaws in the environmental licensing process for the controversial Belo Monte Dam in Brazil were overlooked due to political pressure from the government.The complaint documents the illegal and arbitrary nature of project approval, and how political pressure was brought to bear on licensing staff who questioned the irregularities in the licensing process. More than 100 social movements, organizations and unions representing more th

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

NGOs Launch Campaign to Stop Man-Made Disaster in Ethiopia

Tuesday, March 23, 2010
International NGOs are calling for the halt of the destructive Gibe 3 Dam on Ethiopia's Omo River. The dam threatens the land and livelihoods of 500,000 tribal people in Southern Ethiopia and Northern Kenya. By ending the river’s natural flood cycle, it would destroy harvests and grazing lands along the river banks and fisheries in Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake. The dam will devastate the unique culture and ecosystems of the Lower Omo Valley and Lake Turkana, both recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The dam violates Ethiopia’s constitution, international c

Government License for Belo Monte Dam Provokes International Outcry

Thursday, March 11, 2010
Letter to President Lula Demands Cancellation of Massive Hydroelectric Project Today, a coalition of 140 international organizations sent a letter to Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to demand that he immediately halt plans to build Belo Monte Dam on the Amazon's Xingu River due to its immense social and environmental impacts, and instead consider alternatives. The letter was sent to President Lula following an emergency meeting convened by the Movimento Xingu Vivo Para Sempre (The Xingu Alive Forever Movement) that brought together dozens of Brazilian and international

Ethiopian Dam Suffers Tunnel Collapse Days After Inauguration

Friday, February 5, 2010
A critical water-passage tunnel in the newly inaugurated Gilgel Gibe 2 hydropower project in Ethiopia reportedly collapsed this week. With a price tag of 374 million Euros and a capacity of 420 megawatts, Gilgel Gibe 2 is currently Ethiopia’s biggest power plant. The project channels the water discharged from the Gilgel Gibe 1 Dam through a long tunnel and a steep drop directly to the valley of the Omo River. The project, being built by Italian firm Salini, had already been delayed by more than two years. A high-profile January 13 inauguration was attended by Prime Minister Meles Ze


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