BRASILIA, Brazil – A judge Friday overturned a decision that could have delayed construction of a huge Amazon dam opposed by environmentalists, Indians and the director of “Avatar.”

The judge in the capital of Brasilia reversed a decision to suspend contract bidding scheduled for next week and also overturned the suspension of the environmental license for the 11,000-megawatt Belo Monte dam, according to a statement from Brazil’s solicitor general.

Federal prosecutor Renato Brill de Goes, acting on behalf of dam opponents, said an appeal would be filed, but he did not say when. He also questioned why the dam was put back on track so quickly, just a day after the suspensions were appealed by Brazil’s government.

Movie director James Cameron asserted that government pressure played a role in the quick court reversal.

“When you have entrenched interests and billions of dollars, that’s a big steamroller,” Cameron said in Washington after spending a week in Brazil protesting the dam and meeting with Indians who would be affected.

Brazil’s electricity regulator resumed plans to hold an auction Tuesday to pick a consortium to build and operate the $11 billion dam and sell electricity to the nation, according to a statement from the agency, known as Aneel.

The original decision halting the dam from going forward came Wednesday.


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