Landmark Vote Upholds Indigenous Rights on Belo Monte
On Monday 17th October, 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 channeled away from their lands to the reservoirs. The vote shined a stark spotlight on the project's astronomical risks, and on a growing gap between the implementation of Brazil's legislative framework and the standards of international best practice.
Tags: Land rights