Brazil defends boycott of dam meeting

AP News
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Posted: Oct 25, 2011 6:14 PM
Brazil defends boycott of dam meeting

Brazil's energy minister is defending his government's boycott of a meeting with an international rights group over a controversial Amazon dam.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights earlier this year urged the Brazilian government to halt work on the massive Belo Monte hydroelectric dam.

The commission and other critics say it will displace thousands of Indians and cause environmental damage.

Brazil's government rejected the commission's request then. And they say no government official will attend a meeting with the commission and indigenous leaders on Wednesday.

Energy Minister Edison Lobao says it's the right of Brazil's government to decide if it wants the dam built.

The project would be the world's third largest dam.