Demonstrators Block Amazon Highway in Protest Against the Dam

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Around 350 protesters who oppose the construction of the hydroelectric Brazilian Belo Monte dam, blocked the main road through the Amazon to protest the controversial dam constructed in the middle of the largest rainforest in the world.

    The protesters, who claim to belong to groups affected by the work, confirmed that they will keep blocking the Transamazónica until the people responsible for the construction start several mitigation actions which they have been involved and have not yet been implemented.

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    “Many of our rights are being denied by the arrogance and failure of Northern Energy,” said the Movement of Victims of Hydro Electric in a statement.

    The demonstration joins the blockade to one of the entrances to the works of Belo Monte that has been maintained by a group of Indians, who also protest for alleged promises unfulfilled by North Energy.

    “We join the just fight of the Indians of the Xingu region (against hydroelectric) and we believe that their reason is ours.”

    The protesters are demanding that North Energy builds “quality” houses for the people who had to leave their homes and that they offer public services, schools, health clinics and commercial areas on the relocation premises that is being provided to the victims.

    They also require that the electric company includes in their lists of beneficiaries dozens of families living in the region that have not yet been recognized as displaced by hydropower.

    Another claim is an indemnity payment to persons who have temporarily lost their livelihoods as a result of the works, such as fishermen and taxi drivers.

    Belo Monte will be the third largest dam in the world, which began in March 2011 in the town of Altamira (Pará), despite the resistance of the Indians, farmers, fishermen and environmentalists, who are concerned about the impact of the project in the Amazon.

    The work required the displacement of between 16,000 and 25,000 people, according to various calculations.

    The construction work was interrupted several times by judicial determinations, strikes by workers building the dam and manifestations of the victims.

    Belo Monte, put up on the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon and that covers 506 square kilometers of forest, will have a capacity of 4,571 megawatts average generation time and will reach a top of 11,233 megawatts in times of river flooding.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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