Vale ordered to pay compensation for Brumadinho

Minas Gerais court ruled mining company Vale has to pay compensation for damage caused after collapse of tailings dam.

Search for victims a week after the environmental crime in Brumadinho. Photo: MAB/February 2019.

The order was issued on July 9 by Judge Elton Pupo Nogueira, member of the Minas Gerais Justice Tribunal.

While the amount to be paid by the company has not been defined yet, the court has blocked Vale´s assets for 3 billion dollars and commissioned an independent technical investigation to assess socioenvironmental impacts and technical assistance for the people affected to help in the elaboration of programs to repair the victims.

In addition, the judge also called off the negotiations carried out by Vale which aimed to settle individual cases and purchase the lands of the people affected in that region.

In February, a month after the avoidable disaster, the court ordered the company to pay for the emergency costs of over 6000 people affected, who would receive a minimum wage per adult, half a minimum wage per teenager and 1/4 of a minimum wage per child.

Real World Radio interviewed Joceli Andrioli, of the National Coordination of MAB (Movement of Dam-Affected People) to know more about this unprecedented judicial ruling.

“The ruling is very good because it includes the participation of the people affected. So far, the company had tried to ignore judicial rulings and was not willing to reach real settlements with the people affected. With this ruling, they have no other choice but to negotiate under the terms established by the Minas Gerais court, which will set the compensation amount and commissioned independent investigations to assess the damage caused in Brumadinho”, said the coordinator of the MAB.

Six months after this environmental massacre, Andrioli said that the damage caused by the collapse of the tailings dam persists in the ecosystem, with the contamination of rivers close to Brumadinho, in addition to the psychological damage and other health problems for the thousands of people affected, such as the psychological impact caused to those who found their loved ones dead under the toxic mud, or health issues suffered after drinking water poisoned with lead.


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