A group of local tribes occupied the Belo Monte Dam construction site last weekend, successfully suspending work on the country's biggest infrastructure project for the second time this month.
Brazil's Belo Monte Dam is the biggest dam under construction in the world. The $14.4 billion project intended to help meet rising demands for energy.
But local tribes worry the project could cause serious environmental damage. Dam reservoirs can create large amounts of methane gas, which can be more harmful than carbon emissions, and big floods. Another dam project in Brazil, Balbina Dam, flooded 930 square miles of rainforest after its completion in the 1980s; its reservoir is referred to as a "methane factory" by Philip Fearnside of the National Institute for Amazonian Research in a recent issue of the Economist.
Despite protests, Belo Monte Dam seems destined for completion and it won't be the only one to come to the area. Of the country's 48 planned dams, 30 are in the rainforest. Construction on Bele Monte is due to finish in 2019.
Below, a look at the altercations on the site of the Belo Monte Dam throughout this month:
Amazon Indians from different tribes hold a march to demonstrate their unity before delivering their response to a government proposal to end their occupation of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam construction site, May 8, 2013. REUTERS/Lunae Parracho
An Indian woman cradles her child while holding a banner in front of police, as Amazon Indians from different tribes hold a meeting with a government envoy to discuss a proposal to end their occupation of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam. REUTERS/Lunae Parracho
A Munduruku Indian named Paygomuyatpu takes photos with a camera left for him to use by a journalist who was expelled from the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam construction site, May 5, 2013. REUTERS/Lunae Parracho
Author's note: A previous version mispelled the dam as Bele Monte
Amazon Indians from the Xingu, Tapajos and Teles Pires river basins face a riot police officer as they invade the main construction site of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam site, May 2, 2013. REUTERS/Lunae Parracho
The region’s “chemical genies” of the early 20th century were heralded as reaching into the future to create a more abundant life for all. Instead, they deprived future generations of their health and well-being.