Protests derail Amazon dam
Government suspends permit for binational megaproject after years of opposition.
In an effort to calm massive protests by the surrounding communities that would have seen their farmland flooded by the plant´s construction, Peru´s government announced June 14 that the permit for a Brazilian-led consortium to build a 2,000-megawatt dam on an Amazon tributary had expired and that it had no plans to renew it. The government did not say it was calling off the project, but specifically, the construction permit for the consortium. The permit had expired last October
For more than two months, protesters in the neighboring Puno department had blocked roads leading to the project, which was to be built along the Inambari River, a major Amazon tributary, in the Madre de Dios department.
Deputy Energy Minister Luis Gonzales Talledo said the permit granted to Empresa de Generación Eléctrica Amazonas Sur, or EGASUR, to build the US$4.9-billion project — which had expired last year — was cancelled but other hydroelectric plants planned in the Inambari basin will still continue.
In 2010, Peru and neighboring Brazil signed an agreement for the joint construction of six dams along the Amazon.
“This is a great triumph for the communities and the Peasant Patrols (rondas campesinas), and we will continue to defend our lands and our culture. Even though the project is cancelled we know that we have won the battle but not the war. We know there are too many interests behind construction of Inambari, especially the interests of the Brazilians and their energy thirst,” said Olga Cutipa, president of the Front to Defend the Inambari-San Gabán. —Latinamerica Press.