Reprieve for Amazon as Controversial Dam Gets Setback

In a case described as precedent-setting, a Brazilian court has suspended the operating license for one of the world’s biggest—and most controversial—dams.

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The long-contested Belo Monte Dam, would be the world’s third-largest such hydroelectric project, International Rivers explains, and would “divert the flow of the Xingu, devastate an extensive area of the Brazilian rainforest, displace over 20,000 people, and threaten the survival of indigenous tribes that depend on the river.”

The court Federal Court in Altamira, Para, EFE reports, issued the suspension last Thursday because the company and government had failed for the past year to present a plan of how they would set up a regional office of the national Indian protection agency to help mitigate consequences the project would unleash.

The court also issued a fine to the company and government of $225,000 for the failure.