From: Rhett Butler, MONGABAY.COM, More from this Affiliate
Published August 29, 2012 08:52 AM

Brazil's controversial Belo Monte back on track after court decision overruled

Brazil's Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered work on the controversial Belo Monte dam in the Amazon to resume, overturning a lower court order that suspended the project less than two weeks ago. Construction activities by the Norte Energia, the consortium building the dam, resumed immediately, according to the Associated Press.

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Supreme Court Justice Ayres Britto granted the request for an injunction made by the Attorney-General on the grounds that the lower court "disregarded" an earlier decision by the Supreme Court. However Britto said the new ruling could still be revised.

Cleber Buzatto, executive director CIMI, an indigenous rights group, told the A.P. his organization would continue to fight Belo Monte.

"We are confident that in analyzing the merit of the case, the court will see that the government has focused all its arguments on the economic aspects of the project and none on the impact it will have on human lives."

Belo Monte is strongly backed by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, but widely opposed by environmentalists, human rights groups, and indigenous organizations who say the project will adversely affect local livelihoods and destroy the Xingu River, a major tributary of the Amazon River.

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Image credit: Greenpeace/Daniel Beltra

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