Module 2 Belo Monte Dam Project Draws even more Concerns

Brazil plans to build the third largest hydroelectric dam which will have devastating effects.  Not only will it flood out over 300 acres of land, but it will displace thousands of inhabitants, most of whom are indigenous peoples.  It will also destroy the wildlife habitats of land mammals and fish.  The latest concerns center on the plants that will now lie at the bottom of the dam, rotting slowly and releasing the greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere.

This article points out the global ramifications of building this dam, but it does not focus on the plight on the indigenous peoples.  In fact the article’s rhetoric suggests that it might actually be a good thing for the inhabitants along the Xingu River to relocate because “The thousands of indigenous people and peasants who scratch a living out of the forest and the river will see their main source of drinking water and food dwindle.”  The writer doesn’t take into account that what she perceives as poverty is a way of life for the Indigenous peoples:  not only will their food, water, and transportation be threatened, but their culture, history, rituals, stories will be flooded out as well.


Gerken, J. (2011, September 15).  Belo Monte Dam Project Draws even more Concerns.  Huffington Post Green.  Retrieved October 2, 2011 from


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