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Brazilian Court overturns suspension of Belo Monte’s operating license
Brasilia, Brazil. The Federal Regional Court of the First Region (TRF1) overturned the preliminary decision suspending the operating license of the Belo Monte Dam.
On January 11, the Federal Justice of Altamira decided to suspend the license until the federal government and Norte Energia, the company in charge of the dam’s construction, complied with their obligation to restructure the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) of Altamira. However, a federal judge from TRF1 decided today that this decision disproportionately “affects the public interest, causing grave repercussions on the economy and public order.” Another argument presented was that the suspension would prevent the implementation of various plans designed to benefit indigenous peoples.
“This is yet another attack on the rights of the affected indigenous communities. The decision manipulates the arguments of public interest, order, security and the economy, and then uses the plans – which should have been implemented when the previous license was granted in 2010 – to justify why it is not possible to suspend the operating license. The bottom line is that the operating license never should have been granted in the first place without the fulfillment of those plans,” said María José Veramendi, AIDA attorney.