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

Belo Monte: Did the President of Brazil's IBAMA Make Racist Remarks?

Curt Trennepohl approved the Belo Monte installation license in June 2011
In early July, a rather courageous 60 Minutes Australia reporter confronted IBAMA President Curt Trennepohl in Brazil about the agency's polemic approval of an installation license for the Belo Monte Dam. Mr. Trennepohl's off-camera comments made him sound like an apologist for genocide – rather damaging to the credibility of an environmental agency.

New Lawsuit Against Belo Monte Questions IBAMA License

Monday, June 6, 2011
Translated from Portuguese: read the original version in Portuguese. The new lawsuit in Federal Court, the 11th against the Belo Monte Dam, questions IBAMA's granting of the installation license without fulfillment of the project's prerequisites. 40% of the agency's prerequisites were not met, presenting a risk of social chaos.
 Brazil's Federal Public Prosecutor (MPF) filed today its 11th civil lawsuit against the Belo Monte Dam, over problems in the dam's environmental licensing. The lawsuit demands the suspension of the installation license, which approves the b

Doubts, Protests Prevail in Belo Monte

Kayapó leader on the Xingu River
Kayapó leader on the Xingu River Christian Poirier/Amazon Watch Brazil's environmental agency IBAMA stepped further into controversy last week when it granted Belo Monte Dam consortium Norte Energia a full installation license to begin construction. By doing so, the agency drew the Belo Monte project further into what will be a long, drawn-out quagmire of doubt, legal and technical problems, growing social unrest, and – more likely than not – large cost overruns. The fight over the Belo Monte Dam is not over. It's just getting good. Lawsuits ContinueThe full installation license

Mining Giant Joins Belo Monte Dam

Vale's Amazon blemish. An aerial view of the Carajás mines.
Vale's Amazon blemish. An aerial view of the Carajás mines. infoescola.com The world's second-largest mining corporation, Vale, has stepped into one of the world's most controversial dams: Belo Monte. With its new share in the dam, Vale – and the Brazilian government – are banking on the hope that the electricity from so-called "clean" dams can power Brazil's continued export of commodities to China. In the case of the Amazon, Belo Monte may help power a record expansion of dirty mining. In so many ways, a nightmare "Avatar" scenario is ever closer to reality. Hydropower – far from t

The Tug of War Over Brazil's Belo Monte Dam

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
For people opposing the construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam in Brazil, the blockbuster film Avatar struck a chord. In the movie, a corporate-driven government from Earth threatens a lush, alien planet to extract precious metals. In real life, a government -- in this case, that of Brazil -- threatens to uproot thousands of people, mainly subsistence farmers and some Amazon tribes. It's not as dramatic, and surely not as violent, as the Hollywood blockbuster. But opposition to Belo Monte has been sufficient enough to stall the project for years. Belo Monte has been o

Brazil Green Lights Amazon Dam Disregarding Environmental Laws and Local Opposition

New Dilma Government approves fast-track forest clearance and commencement of controversial Belo Monte construction siteBrasília, Brazil (January 27, 2011)—The Brazilian government has issued a "partial” installation license allowing the Belo Monte Dam Complex to break ground on the margins of the Amazon’s Xingu River despite egregious disregard for human rights and environmental legislation, the unwavering protests of civil society and condemnations by its Federal Public Prosecutor's Office (MPF). The license was approved by Brazil’s environmental agency IBAMA despite overwh

IBAMA President Resigns Over Belo Monte Licensing

Ex-President of IBAMA, Abelardo Bayma Azevedo, at a briefing
Ex-President of IBAMA, Abelardo Bayma Azevedo, at a briefing The President of Brazil's environmental agency IBAMA, Abelardo Bayma Azevedo, submitted a letter of resignation yesterday after facing heavy pressure to grant a full installation license for the Belo Monte Complex, another victim in a long-running political war over environmental licensing between Brazil's Ministry of Mines and Energy and its Ministry of the Environment. The victims keep piling up, and it's bad for the Amazon. Brazil’s Big Bad Wolf Attacks Again Azevedo is the latest victim of a feud between the min

Documenting Belo Monte Dam's Risks: Buyer Beware

The Belo Monte Hydroelectric Complex – slated to be built on the Xingu River – poses serious financial, legal and social risks to local communities and investors alike. In December 2010, the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) announced the approval of a "bridge loan" of 1.09 billion reais (US$640mn) to cover Belo Monte's initial costs. An illegal "partial installation license" was approved in January 2011, despite warnings from the federal public prosecutor (Ministério Público Federal) in the state of Pará that no such environmental license exists under Brazilian legislati

IBAMA Licença Prévia 342/2010

Licença Prévia emitida pelo IBAMA para Belo Monte em fevereiro 2010. Download here.


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