Brazilian hydropower workers taken hostage

Norte Energia, the consortium building the controversial Belo Monte Dam in the northern Brazilian state of Para, has reported to police that three of its employees are being held hostage.Belo Monte hydropower dam

The firm say two construction foremen and a security specialist – and a boatman hired for the journey were seized last Thursday during a visit to the village of Kuruatxe by Kuruaya Indians.

The team has been monitoring progress on the company’s programme of environmental remediation in conjunction with the building of the massive dam in the Amazon jungle.

The hydroelectric power project has faced staunch opposition from environmentalists concerned about its impact on the Amazon and from local Indians, farmers and fishermen worried about its effect on their livelihoods

Work on the $10.6bn, 11,233 MW Belo Monte Dam, which is to be the world’s third-largest hydroelectric power plant, began in 2011 on the Xingu River. It will flood a 503-sq.-kilometer (195-sq.-miles) area, affecting more than 60 communities.

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