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2 May 2018


Brazil must respond to human rights violations caused by the Belo Monte Dam

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Furthering the formal complaint against the State of Brazil for human rights violations caused by the construction of the Belo Monte Dam, organizations representing affected communities presented their final arguments before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.  They demonstrate the damages Belo Monte has caused to indigenous and traditional communities, and residents of Altamira, the city closest to the dam.  The report presented before the Commission shows that the damages resulted from a severe lack of foresight and inadequate evaluation, as well as from failure to comply with the conditions for operation established by the government...The report...documents the displacement of indigenous and traditional communities forced to leave their territories...Local communities now have limited use of the Xingu River as a source of food, sustenance, transportation and entertainment...The case against Brazil officially opened in December 2015...[T]he organizations and the State are required to present their final arguments, after which the Commission will make a decision...The Commission must now prepare a report to conclude whether or not human rights violations occurred as a result of the Belo Monte Dam, in which it may issue recommendations for remediation.  If those recommendations are unfulfilled, the case may be referred to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights, which has the power to issue a ruling condemning Brazil.  Belo Monte has been in operation since early 2015, though a series of judicial suspensions resulting from non-compliance with its permits means that construction has yet to be completed...