"The Brazilian government's position on Belo Monte goes against the image it promotes as a regional leader and its role as the host of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) in 2012," said Astrid Puentes, Co-Director of the Inter-American Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA). "We hope that the governments of the region stop promoting environmentally and socially harmful projects and instead seek truly sustainable development based on respect for human rights.”(Source: Amazon Watch website.)Although the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has demanded that Brazil stop the licensing process, at the end of May Brazil authorized the license for the dam. IACHR has stated that the license violates international law pertaining to the human rights of the indigenous peoples there. What's more, the dam violates Brazil's own constitutional protections--both of indigenous peoples and of the environment.
Specifically, Brazilian constitutional protections against forced expulsions of native peoples will be violated in the Big Bend area of the Xingu River, as the river will be diverted and an artificial reservoir created, forcing thousands of native Xingu to be displaced.
Ironic that Brazilians honor a yearly Indigenous Peoples celebration by noting historical mistreatments of now-extinct peoples, while this current turn of events seems to set up a tragedy-in-the-making for a still-living native people who have continued their traditions for thousands of years.
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