"Initial construction on the Belo Monte dam, which will be the third largest in the world, is slated to begin by next year.
Persistent opposition by environmental and indigenous groups, even with help from high-profile figures like the Canadian-American movie director James Cameron, failed to stop the $11 billion project, which will produce electricity for big cities like São Paulo while flooding about 200 square miles of the Xingu River basin.
Indigenous communities say the dam will devastate their lands and force about 12,000 from their homes. They say it will reduce the river level, destroying their traditional fishing industry."
The city of Altamira will see nearly a third of its land area submerged after the dam is built. Thousands will be displaced.