PHOTOS: Global Voices/Brazil: Deeper Media Coverage of Belo Monte Dam Needed

Protesters against the Belo Monte dam, Altamira. (Photo by Karen Hoffmann, 19/08/2011)

About 150 families from neighborhoods that will be flooded by the construction of the Belo Monte dam were violently evicted by police in Altamira, Brazil. (Photo by Karen Hoffmann, 17/06/2011)

(Text by Priscila Kesselring, translated by Sara Moreira)

A lot of information is shared everyday around the world about controversy surrounding the construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric powerplant in the Amazon. At the same time, however, it is unclear how well circulated the concerns of those to be directly affected – the river-dwellers, ‘caboclos‘ and indigenous peoples – by what some have labeled ‘pharaonic’ construction work.

For Verena Glass, journalist and communications coordinator for the social and environmentalist collective Movimento Xingu Vivo Para Sempre, “Belo Monte is not a matter for Brazilians only, as it deals with human rights violations”.

In April 2011, after several traditional communities complained to the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Commission on Human Right (IACHR) asked the Brazilian government to immediately suspend the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam project in order to safeguard indigenous rights. Since then, mainstream media has started giving more attention to the coverage of the events related to Belo Monte.

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