Damming the Amazon

The Xikrin people are fighting to protect their ancestral land in the heart of the Amazon, as a massive hydropower dam threatened to dry out their river, a major source of their food. Slated to become the world’s third largest dam, Belo Monte will supply electricity across Brazil for public consumption as well as power for mining and mineral industries. But the project also threatens to displace indigenous people, disrupt sensitive biodiversity and devastate the rainforest.

The international reporting program went to Pará state to understand how this project impacts the cities, forests and tribal villages within the state. The program interviewed Xikrin chiefs in two villages, the spokesman for Norte Energia consortium, the construction company, and workers and homeowners in the largest city in the region, Altamira.