BRAZIL JUDGE: DAM REQUIRES CONSENT OF INDIGENOUS GROUPS
A federal court suspended the use of the military during research on the São Luíz do Tapajós Dam in the Amazon. The government brought in police and military personnel to halt indigenous protests from groups living along the Tapajós, but a judge decreed that such groups must give free, prior, and informed consent before further studies on the dam. A few weeks ago, indigenous groups warned that they would "go to war" with the government if they forced the dam through, and President Dilma Rousseff authorized the deployment of forces during technical and environmental studies. However, the judge found that the lack of the indigenous groups' consent violated federal law and international treaties. "This is a landmark decision for establishing that prior consultations with indigenous communities and other traditional populations, as well as the analysis of cumulative impacts of dam cascades, must be taken seriously by the Brazilian government from the earliest phases of planning at the river basin level," said Brent Millikan, Amazon Program Director of International Rivers. The decision is expected to be appealed. For the full story, see http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0417-hance-tapajos-dam.html.