By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Last Thursday around 500 people, including activists, indigenous leaders, fishermen and local residents, gathered to stage a peaceful protest at the site of the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Dam in Altamira, in the Amazonian state of Pará. Their goal was to halt the dam’s construction, which they say is illegal and threatens to devastate the local environment and their way of life.

The protest was a result of a meeting of more than 700 local community leaders earlier last week which pressure groups are calling a “landmark alliance . . .

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