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The Brazilian Government has learned, with perplexity, of the measures requested by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to “protect the life and physical integrity of the members of the indigenous peoples”, allegedly at risk due to the construction of the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Power Plant.

The Brazilian Government, without diminishing the relevance of the role played by the international systems of human rights protection, recalls that those systems are subsidiary or complementary in nature. For that reason, their action is legitimate only when internal jurisdiction resources have failed.

The authorization for the implementation of the Hydroelectric Exploitation of Belo Monte was granted by the National Congress, by means of the Legislative Decree n. 788/2005, provided that technical, environmental and economic studies be carried out, particularly “an anthropological study pertaining to the indigenous communities located in the area covered by the enterprise”, with due consultations to the communities.  IBAMA and FUNAI were charged with carrying out the environmental impact studies and the consultations to the communities in question, according to the provision of paragraph 3, article 231 of the Federal Constitution.

The Brazilian Government is aware of the social and environmental challenges that projects such as the Belo Monte Power Plant may engender.  With that in mind, every applicable rule has been taken in account with the utmost attention with a view to addressing every social and environmental issues at hand.  The Brazilian Government has acted in an effective and swift manner to answer the existing demands.

The Brazilian Government deems that the IHRC requests were rushed and unjustified. 

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