Meanwhile, down below:
In a powerful victory for indigenous rights in Brazil last week, the Toronto-based company Belo Sun Mining had its license to drill revoked by a federal court, dealing a significant setback to its efforts to gouge a mega-mine into the banks of the Amazon’s Xingu River.
In the unanimous ruling, the court cited Belo Sun’s failure to uphold the right of local indigenous communities to prior consultation on the project’s complex social and environmental impacts, which would compound the destruction already wrought by the adjacent Belo Monte hydroelectric dam. It also ordered the company to carry out an “Indigenous Component Study” to measure the project’s specific impacts on indigenous communities and territories, stating that a new licensing process will not be considered until Belo Sun has undertaken all of these measures.
Last week’s victory is especially notable in a region already reeling from the devastation of Belo Monte, a mega-project that steamrolled human rights, environmental protections, and the rule of law to drive a wall of concrete across the mighty Xingu River. As Belo Sun’s “Volta Grande” gold mine appeared set to follow Belo Monte’s notorious path of rampant illegality and corruption, the determined efforts of local indigenous peoples, Brazilian federal prosecutors, and NGO allies have thrown up a formidable roadblock to the multibillion-dollar project.
It was quite pleasurable seeing some good news come out of the Amazon.
I was especially impressed with the court — it actually went with the law and the people!
There is hope, friends!