Brazil prosecutors call for halt on Amazon dam evictions

Construction of $11 billion hydroelectric dam putting livelihoods of thousands of families in Brazil’s Amazon in danger, federal prosecutors say

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Federal prosecutors in Brazil have called for an immediate halt the eviction of at least 2,000 families from Brazil’s Amazon jungle where a huge dam is being built.

The consortium that is building the $11 billion Belo Monte dam on the Xingu River has broken numerous agreements to guarantee the means of survival of indigenous groups, farmers and fishermen, the federal prosecutors’ office said in a statement on Monday.

Belo Monte will be the world’s third largest hydroelectric dam after Three Gorges Dam in China and Itaipu Dam, which straddles the border of Brazil and Paraguay.

The Brazilian prosecutor’s office said in a preliminary report that it recommends urgent intervention in the process to halt the demolition and the violation of rights of the evicted population.

The contract, which guarantees farmers and fishermen living the area will be relocated and provided with alternative means of survival, has been breached 55 times, according to the report.

The report urged immediate action to halt the work of a vessel hired by the consortium which has been travelling along the Xingu river evicting the families who live by the river in the area to be flooded by the Belo Monte dam.

The 11,233 megawatt dam, which is to be located on the Xingu River - an Amazon River tributary - is expected to be finished by 2019.

The government says the dam is crucial for economic development and a source of clean, renewable energy for the country.

However, environmentalists and indigenous groups who have opposed the project from the very beginning have said vast areas of rainforest will be flooded, threatening wildlife and affecting the lives of thousands of people.

TRTWorld and agencies