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Brazil's Belo Monte dam risks delay after court order

Source:  Copyright 2012, Reuters
Date:  August 17, 2012
Original URL: Status ONLINE

The opening of Brazil's $13 billion Belo Monte dam in the Amazon could be delayed if a court order requiring construction to stop is not overturned by December, the head of the consortium building the project said on Friday.

A regional judge called for an immediate halt to construction on Tuesday after years of high-profile criticism. The likes of Hollywood director James Cameron and the Inter-American Court on Human Rights have said Belo Monte would displace indigenous people in the Amazon rain forest.

President Dilma Rousseff, however, has said such mega dams are needed to meet the energy demands of Brazil's growing consumer class -- the result of intense poverty alleviation in Latin America's largest economy.

"This situation must be resolved very quickly in order to take advantage of a hydrological window," President of Norte Energia (Northern Energy) Duilio Figueiredo told Reuters, referring the seasonal rains in the region.

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