Resignations in Brazil rekindle debate about dam


Two top Brazilian environmental-licensing officials quit their jobs this month, apparently to protest undue pressure exerted on them to approve plans for what would be the largest hydroelectric station in the Amazon—a US$10-13 billion, 11,183-megawatt facility on the Xingú River. The officials who stepped down are Leozildo Benjamim, licensing coordinator for energy projects at Ibama, the Brazilian Environment Ministry’s permitting arm, and Sebastião Pires, Ibama’s licensing director. In an interview with EcoAméricas, Benjamim said that he and Pires quit because various government ministries pushed them to award a preliminary license to the Belo Monte project. “Pires, I and the entire Ibama team analyzing Belo Monte were under intense and improper pressure from all sides to approve the license, pressure that could... [Log in to read more]

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