Once again history repeats itself as a tragedy. On one side, Vale SA, a major worldwide mining company, and on the other, the Brazilian people gathering bodies sunken in the mud of criminal enterprises.
This January 25 will be marked by the breaking of three iron-ore tailings dams at the Córrego do Feijão Mine, part of the Paraopeba Complex. The dam of responsibility of the company Vale is in the municipality of Brumadinho, at the metropolitan area of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. It is estimated that 14 million m³ of tailings spilled on the Paraopeba River, one of the main tributaries of the São Francisco River. Authorities say about 150 people are missing.
The evidence of yet another socio-environmental crime of incalculable size strikes us again. The public authority did not listen to the communities and acted in favor of corporate power to flexibilize the licenses allowing the expansion of the dam complex in December 2018.
We at MAB understand that this is a continuing crime by Vale against the Brazilian people. Three years ago, the Samarco crime with the bursting of Fundão dam in Mariana: no house was built, we do not know the number of people affected, there are no studies about the impacts on health, women are not recognized as affected, among other environmental violations and rights of those affected. Up to date, the judiciary has not held any of the directors of the companies involved in the crime responsible and has not ensured the full reparation of the families. On the contrary, it has acted in punitive selectivity, criminalizing the manifestation of families, popular movements and civil society organizations.
It is important to note that Vale SA was once a Brazilian company, but in the 1990s it was privatized. What we see today is a super powerful company that acts for the profit of shareholders but has no commitment to human life and the environment.
Once again, these large corporations and the overlooking of governments demonstrate their priorities towards the rates of profit to the detriment of the quality of life of the population. There is no regional development, there is only destruction of lives and contamination of rivers and nature.
The MAB summons the Brazilian people, in the spirit of solidarity and social justice that moves us, to support the families affected by the burst of the Brumadinho dam. We are already in the region and we are moving many affected people from all over Brazil in this task of solidarity and support to the victims, along with so many others affected from the Rio Doce basin and the capixaba coast who have already volunteered their duty of comradery.
We continue to fight for justice in Mariana, in Brumadinho, in the Rio Doce basin, in the capixaba coast and in defense of the São Francisco River.
We demand justice in this crime, so that the death of people, animals, rivers and the environment do not go unpunished again.
Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB)