Article Critique: Study on Belo Monte Dam Project

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An enormous 80% of Brazil’s electrical power is harnessed from its rivers. However a controversial dam project, the Belo Monte Dam, to be built on the Xingu River in the Brazilian state of Pará has thrown the country into uproar, with indigenous peoples and citizens alike protesting in their thousands. The project for what would be the third-largest dam in the world is projected to cost the Brazilian government in excess of around US $20 billion, generating 11,000 megawatts of electricity at full capacity, and has recently seen yet another halt in construction after the Rio Summit in August 2012, due to a court ruling that the indigenous peoples had not been consulted about the project as is law in Brazil. For a project
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Throughout the article, different tribe names are used to exemplify the sheer number of indigenous peoples that will be affected by the building of the dam, and this endears the reader to their struggle against this uncaring government, bent on getting their own way, and the “extensive damage” the project will cause.
It is stated that the government “claims” that the energy generated would power homes, but “in reality” only 70% would serve this function, that 30% has been bought by Eletrobras for industry, and is another implication that the government has lied to the people, and is exploiting the dam for their own gain for several industry mining schemes while the Brazilians “would continue to pay the highest energy tariffs in the developing world”.
The article offers an alternative to the dam of reinforcing existing hydroelectric infrastructure and “investing in energy efficiency” which reinforces the argument that Belo Monte is a bad idea. In addition, it is claimed that “the government is also siphoning Brazilian public pension funds and the country’s workers’ insurance funds in order to bankroll a full 25% of the project’s construction consortium, called Norte Energia”. This again is designed to make the government look like the bad guy, that they are building the dam for their own gain with no thought to the public, and this statement would definitely rally the Brazilian public into opposing the dam, and

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