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Potential Impacts of a Proposed Amazon Hydroelectric Project

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The Tehri Dam, India - Stumbling Toward Catastrophe

For the last 12 years construction has continued unabated on India's Tehri Dam amidst staunch opposition, massive environmental degradation and social upheaval. Even lack of sufficient funds has not stopped this monstrous, concrete Juggernaut; it has been moving along in stages, with money acquired from state and national budgets. At present, the four water diversion tunnels (two on the…

The Real Victims of the Iran-Iraq War

On 22 March 1988, the hitherto obscure Kurdish town of Halabja in the northeastern mountains of Iraq suddenly skyrocketed to prominence in the Western press as the site of the most recent and perhaps most grievous atrocity of the Iran-Iraq war. In a front-page story appearing in the London Times, Nicholas Beeston, one of a number of journalists flown into the town by the Iranians who had just…

The Hidden Costs of Hydroelectric Dams

One of the greatest dangers in development policy lies in the tendency to give more material aspects of growth an overriding disproportionate emphasis. The end may be forgotten in preoccupation with the means. Human rights may be submerged and human beings seen only as instruments of production rather than as free entities [in] whose welfare and cultural advance the project is intended. These…

Sudan's Secret Slaughter

This report compiles information from a wide range of sources and groups in order to shed some much-needed light on the conflict in southern Sudan. It cannot be exhaustive or definitive; in Africa's largest country, travel and communications are never easy. The researchers are not Sudanese, a fact that hindered access to information. Add war, fuel shortages and government restrictions on movement…

Stopping the Flood of Damages from Cochiti Dam

The 1,000 members of the Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico, have always welcomed those visitors who respectfully observe the corn and buffalo dances. The US Army Corps of Engineers, however, is a guest who controls and sometimes floods up to 11,000 acres of the 50,000-acre reservation behind Cochiti Dam. Although the Cochiti Pueblo has legal protection as a federally recognized tribe, it is fighting for…

Rebels Create Havoc in Mozambique

In December 1987, Robert Gersony was engaged by the Department of State's Bureau for Refugee Programs to undertake an assessment of designated Mozambican refugee matters. The bureau's director, Ambassador Jonathan Moore, decided to have the assessment conducted as a result of the bureau's perception of a mounting refugee crisis in southern Africa. The bureau had witnessed an increase of 300…

Inuit Youth in a Changing World

The rapid social changes that have taken place in the Canadian Arctic over the past 20 to 30 years have created a host of challenges and dilemmas for young Inuit. The members of this younger generation are coming of age during a period of fundamental change in northern society. A previously nomadic population has been concentrated into centralized settlements and towns, resulting in population…

For the Taking: The Garrison Dam and the Tribal Taking Area

The Garrison Dam, conceived in the 1940s and constructed in the 1950s, has had the greatest impact on the Indians of Fort Berthold, North Dakota, since the nineteenth-century smallpox epidemics reduced their numbers to near cultural extinction. Nearly one century later, the Three Affiliated Tribes-Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara-had successfully recovered through intermarriage and cultural…

China's Three Gorges Project: Whose Dam Business Is It?

A great wall of secrecy stands around China's proposal to dam the mighty Yangtze River and build the largest hydroelectric complex in the world. The project's feasibility study, financed by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), an arm of the Canadian government, is now nearing completion. The study, which is off limits to the public, will be instrumental in deciding the fate of…

Indians in Brazil

During the past year Brazil has been in the throes of writing a new constitution-a process that has permitted, if not encouraged, more massive violations of Indian rights than have been seen in the country for decades. The shaping of the new constitution raises basic questions about the rights and guarantees for Brazil's 200-plus indigenous groups. The prolonged constitutional debate created a…

Famine Returns to Ethiopia

It is 1988 and Ethiopians are starving again. Some 7 million people are at risk from the current famine. Some officials in Washington even believe that conditions are such in Ethiopia that the figure could reach 14 million, or one-third of the country's population. What should we make of the new famine? Why didn't the assistance we sent in 1984 help? As concerned, compassionate people, how should…

Another Defeat for the Nam Choan Dam, Thailand

On 18 March 1988 the committee chaired by Gen. Thienchai Sirisamphan, Thailand's deputy prime minister, to consider the controversial Nam Choan Dam in western Thailand decided that the project should be "shelved"; the recommendation was submitted to the government on 25 March. The decision ended the most recent efforts of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to construct a…