Brazil judge suspends license for hydroelectric dam

Belo Monte hydroelectric complex

SAO PAULO (AP) — A judge suspended the operating license for the massive Belo Monte hydroelectric dam in Brazil's Amazon jungle state of Para weeks before the first of its 24 hydro turbines is scheduled to begin generating electricity.

Federal Judge Maria Carolina Valente do Carmo ordered the suspension on Thursday.

She said she ordered the suspension because the Norte Energia consortium that is building the Belo Monte dam failed to comply with a previously established requirement that called for the reopening the regional offices of the federal indigenous affairs department in the area where the dam is being built.

Norte Energia said it had not been informed of the judge's ruling.

The dam would be the world's third-largest hydroelectric energy producer behind China's Three Gorges dam and Itaipu, which straddles the border of Brazil and Paraguay.

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