With an estimated cost of at least $14 billion and a projected electrical capacity that would make it the third most powerful in the world, Brazil’s Belo Monte Dam is leaving a large footprint – one that looks like it will stamp out local residents in the Amazon.
Until recently, Belo Monte faced seemingly endless court cases and popular opposition, but in June, the Brazilian environmental agency IBAMA granted Norte Energia, the owner, a license to go ahead. That means an estimated 24,000 people living in the dam’s vicinity are going to be paid to leave.
Elio Alves Da Silva, a fisherman who has lived nearby for 30 years, says he will take a $12,000 buy out, though he believes the dam is tearing the community apart.
Al Jazeera’s Gabriel Elizondo reports from the construction site.