For indigenous and local communities along Brazil's Xingu River, life is changing forever. Construction of the Belo Monte Dam - the third-largest in the world - has displaced them from their homes and ruined their traditional fishing grounds on this major tributary of the Amazon. AIDA is helping by providing free legal support and representation before international authorities. We're defending their rights to adequate housing, water, sanitation, livelihood, culture, and a healthy environment.
Brazil constructed Belo Monte to meet growing energy needs. But huge environmental and social problems have resulted. The dam has flooded forests and ecosystems, and displaced thousands. Communities don't have adequate housing, water or sanitation. They've lost access to food, jobs, and river transportation. Violence and crime have spiked. They have little recourse against the Brazilian government and dam developers. Worse yet, more than 100 other dams are also proposed for the Amazon Basin.
Because the government refused to comply with national court orders to stop Belo Monte, AIDA and our Brazilian colleagues are representing the people of the Xingu before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. We work directly with the communities to document violations and enforce international law. We're holding the Brazilian government accountable for the human rights and environmental abuses caused by Belo Monte Dam.
By bringing this case to international authorities, AIDA is increasing pressure on Brazil's government to respect the human rights of its people. We're also compelling Brazil to reevaluate plans for more large dams. And we're seeing results: the government recently cancelled the Tapajos Dam to avoid similar controversy. The Belo Monte case can secure justice for affected communities and deter unsustainable development not only in Brazil, but throughout the region.