In the last week, Brazil’s Federal District Court of the 1st Region (Regional Federal Tribunal TRF1) voted to annul Legislative Decree 788 of 2005, which permitted the licensing and construction of the Belo Monte dam even before an environmental impact study (EIA) was conducted. The project is now stopped until impacted indigenous peoples are consulted by the National Congress – with power of veto – and the whole process of discussion of viability and authorization of the hydroelectric dam to be reinstated in accordance with the law.
The decision by the TRF1 partially upheld an appeal by the Federal Public Ministry and annulled one of the biggest affronts to the Federal Constitution and to the International Labor Organization Convention 169 committed by the Brazilian government in the last years, as clarified by Judge Antonio Souza Prudente, presiding over the process.
Still in the last week, in response to the Justice decision – classified as “inadmissible” by Norte Energia S. A. – the company released a statement which unravels a chain of incongruences. The company
Claims to have guided their actions with respect to the Constitution, which was evidently contradicted by the decision made by TRF1.
Claims to have rigorously fulfilled all the legal requirements of Belo Monte, while being target of a fine of R$7 million from the Environmental State Agency (IBAMA) and various law suits from the Public Ministry (MPF) for noncompliance of pre-conditions of the previous license and installation (construction) license.
Claims that no indigenous land will be directly affected by the dam, while negotiating and not complying with the measures to minimize the impacts. Incoherently, in the same note that states the indigenous peoples will not be affected, affirms that “during the meetings in the villages, all information about the project was provided, which included the impact, mitigations, and compensations established in indigenous component, approved by the National Indigenous Agency (FUNAI)”.
Claims all necessary clarifications were provided to the indigenous peoples, while the Company’s employees were detained at the Muratu village for one week precisely for the lack of clarity about the mechanisms that would allegedly be adopted to enable the navigation after the river is completely dammed.
Claims that the indigenous people, by free will, support Belo Monte, while throughout the whole process of the implementation of the works, demonstrations contrary to dam had multiplied, culminating in an occupation of weeks on the coffer dam, between the months of June and July.
Claims that the halting of Belo Monte will leave more than 20 thousand unemployed, while their own numbers count 12 thousand employees, 9 thousand being direct jobs and 3 thousand indirect.
READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE: Belo Monte halted: Norte Energia’s lies and our demands to reverse the damage done.