6. The hydroelectric threat to the Amazon basin
For decades hydroelectric power was seen as the solution to Latin America’s energy needs. However, serious questions have arisen over its long-term viability. Ecologists warn of the potentially catastrophic impact of dams on the Amazon basin, the most complex network of river channels in the world.
Dams have also had hugely damaging impacts on indigenous and riverine communities. Moreover, major hydro projects have been plagued by massive corruption.
Marilene Ribeiro is an award-winning photographer and ecologist whose works investigate the relationship between human beings and nature concerning contemporary issues. She holds an MSc in Ecology and Wildlife Conservation and Management from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil), and a PhD in photography from the University of Brighton (UK). Marilene’s works approach global issues seen through the lens of Brazil.
Sue Branford is a journalist who reported from Brazil for over a decade. A founding member of LAB’s editorial team, she has worked for the BBC, the Financial Times, The Guardian and The Economist. She has written five books on Latin America, mainly on Brazil. Her latest book, co-authored with Maurício Torres, is titled Amazon Besieged: by dams, soya, agribusiness and land grabbing (Practical Action Publishing and LAB 2018).
Leonardo Batista, aka Aronor (Ribeirinho Council): interviewed in Altamira, Pará, Brazil, on 14 October 2016 by Marilene Cardoso Ribeiro. Transcribed by Karina Ribeiro and translated by Paula Coppio, Edgar Refinetti, and Diego Satyro.
Maria Eliete Felix Juruna (Paquiçamba Indigenous Reserve): interviewed in Paquiçamba, Pará, Brazil, on 6 November 2016 by Marilene Cardoso Ribeiro. Transcribed by Karina Ribeiro and translated by Chris Whitehouse.
Antônia Melo (Movimento Xingu Vivo para Sempre): interviewed in Altamira, Pará, Brazil, in early September 2015 by Eliane Brum. Translated by Hugo Moss.
Maria Rosa Pessoa Piedade (ribeirinha at Palhau): interviewed in Altamira, Pará, Brazil, on 2 November 2016 by Marilene Cardoso Ribeiro. Transcribed by Karina Ribeiro and translated by Alistair Clark.
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