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Brazil ignores OAS meeting due to dispute over hydroelectric dam

Tuesday, October 25th 2011 - 04:06 UTC
Full article 6 comments
The Belo Monte complex will be the world’s third largest The Belo Monte complex will be the world’s third largest

Brazil will not take part in the annual meeting of the Organization of American States in Washington on Wednesday due to a dispute over a giant hydroelectric plant, said opponents of the scheme.

“We received a statement from the permanent mission to OAS on Friday evening and reports that Brazil will not be represented at the meeting,” said lawyer Andressa Calgas, director of support group Global Justice, at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro.

In the statement, Brazil reiterated that all social and environmental protection measures related to the 11bn dollars project in western Para state, along the Xingu river in Brazil's Amazon rainforest project should be met.

The decision not to appear at the meeting “shows the cowardice of the government” that “wants to avoid being publicly blamed,” Calgas said.

Environmentalists and activists for Brazil's indigenous peoples on September 29 cheered a federal court order halting construction at the controversial dam.

Government officials said they would appeal the decision on the project, which is a centrepiece of efforts to boost energy production in the rapidly growing economy but has drawn criticism both at home and abroad for its impact.

The Belo Monte dam would be the third biggest dam in the world, after China's Three Gorges construction and the Itaipu dam on the border of Brazil and Paraguay.

It would produce more than 11,000 megawatts, or about 11% of Brazil's current installed capacity. The project is expected to employ 20,000 people directly in construction, flood an area of 500 square kilometres along the Xingu River and will displace 16,000 people.

Categories: Economy, Environment, Brazil.

Top Comments

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  • Philippe

    Brazil as the grrrreatest power in Latin America can let its diplomats entertain themselves with brincadeira instead of attending the OAS meeting. But what has that to do with the price of beans?


    Oct 25th, 2011 - 11:36 am 0
  • GeoffWard2

    Don't be silly, Phillipe.

    There is a substantial history of politics and posturing involved in the interminable series of local, state and federal court orders, human rights claims, recourse to supra-national organisations, etc, etc. and the interminable series of appeals, presidential rulings, etc, etc.

    So many people want a piece of the very lucrative pie,

    and there is insufficient authority in the present president for her to say
    “For the best good of the country and its move towards the developed world, this world-scale clean-energy project will be built and it will start on 1 January 2012.”

    When the total energy cost and benefits are set against the alternatives,
    when the CO2-cost and its carbon offsets are set against the alternatives,
    when the local and regional environmental and social costs and benefits are set against the alternatives,
    this Bel Monte hydroelectric scheme is a real no-brainer.

    Oct 25th, 2011 - 12:07 pm 0
  • Fido Dido

    ” said lawyer Andressa Calgas, director of support group Global Justice

    What Global justice? Andressa Calgas a lawyer, never had a real job in her life that really produced something, rather than paper and hidden talk of anti development.

    Philippe , you are right and you are only silly if you take bogus green lovers (Ohhh CO2 is so dangerous, I'm so concerned about the trees) serious, like mr GeoffWard.

    this Bel Monte hydroelectric scheme is a real no-brainer for people who are for development.

    Oct 25th, 2011 - 03:18 pm 0
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