The Brazil trip was a political statement of unity that would link the South American villagers with there own efforts to remove four dams from the Klamath River.
In recent months, Bolivia's Amazonian region has experienced the most disastrous flooding of the past 100 years. In the past weeks, attention has focused on the role played by two recently-inaugurated Brazilian mega-dams – the Jirau and the San Antonio – in Bolivia's floods.
'We think that there is pressure from the private sector and the authorities within the energy sector to facilitate investment, weakening the environmental legal framework and undermining social and environmental standards,' says Cesar Gamboa, a lawyer from NGO DAR.
Chevron is reluctant to give ground to the people affected by the dumping of toxic waste. But they're not going to stop fighting for compensation.March 18, 2014The Guardian
The Chevron case is something of a parable in two ways: first, it is a lesson about the incandescent response of multinational corporations to any questioning of them; second, it's a reminder how little the voices of campesinos (peasant farmers) and indigenous people in Latin America seem to count in the eyes of the companies that want to make use of their land.
Actual construction costs of large dams are globally on average 96% higher than their budgets, and the magnitude of cost overruns hasn't declined. There is also the negative impact on human society and the environment such as flooding, as well as erosion, landslides and loss of fish populations. Then there are cost overruns and debt servicing.
Indian leader Megaron Kayapó said, "Which rivers will we have for fishing? The Xingu is our river, our supermarket… We live by hunting, fishing, and planting… We have always been against it (Belo Monte), and we will always be against it".
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has publicly defended Belo Monte against attacks from environmentalists and indigenous groups, calling it a "social investment" that will improve the lives of those in the Amazon. Yet a study published this month suggests that the government-run companies footing most of the bill for Belo Monte may never recoup their investment.
Over 500,000 Signatures Collected to Request National ReferendumMarch 13, 2014Wall Street Journal
Quito, Ecuador – A coalition opposing the development of Ecuador's sensitive Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini oil block has collected more than 500,000 signatures to request the government's electoral agency hold a national referendum to decide on the future of the oil. Opponents of the development need to collect about 600,000 signatures before the April 18 deadline, but the environmental coalition, YasUnidos, wants to collect a million.
"We - the heads - we haven't approved anything regarding expansion in Lot 88. They say the study has already been approved. So we ask ourselves: who authorized it? No public meeting has been held, nor one workshop, about it."
Announcement that seismic tests won’t need Environmental Impact Assessments sparks controversy and concernMarch 8, 2014The Guardian
"[One] agreement is to eliminate environmental impact assessments for seismic operations. The [oil and gas] industry has its laws, the industry has principles, it has well-established practices, and the idea is to move away from procedures and permissions to action. The companies know what they have to do."