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Brazilian court halts Belo Mento dam project

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Indians of the Tucano ethnic group from the northern Brazilian state of Para, protest against the construction of the Belo Monte dam outside the presidential palace in Brasilia, Brazil, in 2010. The sign reads in Portuguese: "Belo Monte: Beautiful Monster".

Indians of the Tucano ethnic group from the northern Brazilian state of Para, protest against the construction of the Belo Monte dam outside the presidential palace in Brasilia, Brazil, in 2010. The sign reads in Portuguese: “Belo Monte: Beautiful Monster”.

AP/Eraldo Peres

Indians of the Tucano ethnic group from the northern Brazilian state of Para, protest against the construction of the Belo Monte dam outside the presidential palace in Brasilia, Brazil, in 2010. The sign reads in Portuguese:

In Brazil energy security means dams. Eighty-five percent of Brazil electricity comes from hydroelectric power. The problem is, dam projects come at cost to the environment, and to the people they displace.

No Hydroelectric project is more controversial than the huge Belo Monte Dam in Brazil’s northeast state of Para. The project’s price tag is in the vicinity of $18 billion, and after years of court challenges and changes to the plan, a license to build was granted a year ago.

But this week a federal appeals court ordered construction suspended until indigenous groups are properly consulted. Worldview is joined by Zachary Hurwitz, the Policy Program Coordinator for International Rivers, an advocacy group that  protects rivers and defends the rights of the communities that depend on them.

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