Brazilian judge suspends dam license, upholds indigenous rights

ENS, 04/05/2012

Dam construction on the Teles Pires River in Mato Grosso, January 2012.

A federal judge has suspended the construction license of the Teles Pires hydroelectric dam in the Brazilian Amazon, saying the permitting process violated the rights of indigenous people protected under the Brazilian Constitution.

In her ruling, Judge Celia Regina Ody Bernardes, a federal judge in the state of Mato Grosso, sided with federal public prosecutors and public prosecutors from Mato Grosso and the state of Pará who argued the dam would cause “imminent and irreversible damage to the quality of life and cultural heritage of indigenous peoples of the region.”

The dam would flooding a series of rapids on the Teles Pires River known as Sete Quedas, or Seven Waterfalls, the spawning grounds of fish of great importance to the indigenous residents.

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