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Brazilians protest giant Amazon dam

Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 01:45

Aug 21 - Indigenous tribes and environmental activists protest a planned hydroelectric dam that could displace 30,000 Brazilians. Lindsey Parietti reports.

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Indigenous Brazilians protest against a hydroelectric dam that could displace 30,000 people and flood part of the Amazon. The Belo Monte dam, which the government approved in June to meet the country's growing power needs, will be the largest in the world. As activists blocked traffic on a busy Sao Paulo street Saturday, one tribe leader said he feared for his family. (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) INDIGENOUS TRIBE LEADER OF THE XINGU REGION, KUNUE KALAPALO, SAYING: "This dam would destroy us and that is why I am so worried. I live really close in the Xingu reserve and when they start (building the dam) my family would be one of the first to die; so that is why I am so worried." Verena Glass, who heads a conservancy to protect the Amazon River tributary on which the dam is planned, called the project one of the worst ever. (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) HEAD OF THE XINGU CONSERVANCY ORGANIZATION, VERENA GLASS, SAYING: "This was organized through Facebook, through Twitter and through activist groups that felt the need to come out in public to protest against one of the worst projects ever from the social, environmental, economic and energetic point-of-view that our government has ever approved." Though it was conceived 30 years ago, protests including one tribe's armed attack on an electricity official have delayed the project. Several injunctions filed to prevent the dam's construction await federal court rulings. Activists also protested a land use bill which they say will encourage deforestation for farming. Lindsey Parietti, Reuters

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Brazilians protest giant Amazon dam

Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 01:45