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By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO – Despite fierce national and international opposition mounted over several decades and a week of last-ditch legal wrangling, the contract for the controversial Belo Monte Hydro-Electric Dam project went to auction last week and was won by the consortium Norte Energia.

José Ailton de Lima, president of the winning group, announced that construction of the dam on the Xingu River in the Amazon rainforest is due to begin within the next six months.

The auction was a swift affair lasting less than seven minutes in the glare of the . . .

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