Peru suspends devastating dam
|The Asháninka tribe are protesting against another dam, Pakitzapango, planned under Peru and Brazil's energy pact. |
© David Dudenhoefer
A mega-dam in south-east Peru has been suspended following a month of strikes that involved almost 2,000 local people.
The Inambari dam was to be the largest of six hydroelectric projects planned under an energy agreement between Peru and Brazil last year.
Peru’s Energy Ministry announced on Monday that it had cancelled the temporary contract of Egasur, the Brazilian company in charge of developing the dam.
Inambari would affect the lives of around 15,000 local inhabitants, including the indigenous Carabaya people whose forest would have been flooded.
Peru’s incoming President, Ollanta Humala, has promised to respect indigenous peoples’ right to free, prior and informed consent for any projects affecting them or their land.
Locals have welcomed the government’s decision but fear interest in the region’s rich natural resources will persist.
Olga Cutipa, a Carabaya woman and vice-president of the Carabaya Defence Coalition said, ‘We were born and raised here. There were no roads. Our parents took us out riding on mules and we ate wild foods. We have no diseases – we are healthy, yet they want to make us leave? They are committing an abuse; Egasur should not bother us, they should stay away’.
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