Three engineers working on the construction of the Belo Monte dam are being held hostage by indigenous tribes.
Three engineers working on the construction of the Belo Monte dam are being held hostage by the Juruna and Arara indigenous tribes. Norte Energia, the company constructing the dam, have confirmed that three of its employees were being held hostage as tensions mount over the controversial dam.
The $11 billion Belo Monte, which if completed will be the world’s third largest dam, will reroute eighty percent of the Xingu River’s flow. It is expected to flood more than 40,000 hectares of rainforest, displacing 16,000 people according to the government and 40,000 according to critics.
The leaders of the Juruna and Arara have stated that they will hold the engineers hostage until Norte Energia and the Brazilian government address issues such as navigation, water quality, sanitation, natural resources, and protection of indigenous territories.
The kidnapping occurred after 13 tribes occupied a section of the dam for three weeks. Meetings between Norte Energia and the indigenous groups have so far produced no way forward.
Legal action against Belo Monte continues, with the Federal Public Prosecutors Office filing a lawsuit demanding total suspension of the dam, arguing that Norte Energia has not met its legal obligations.
Source: Mongabay and Amazon Watch