The rupture of the Vale´s dam in Brumadinho (MG), in the Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte (MRBH), is another episode of this mining predatory model adopted by the Brazilian State in collusion with the transnational companies that operate in the sector.
The tailings dam belongs to the Paraopeba Mining Complex, located in the municipalities of Brumadinho and Sarzedo. This Complex was responsible for 7% of Vale’s total volume of iron ore production in Brazil in 2018. In addition to three tailings dams, the Complex is formed by the Jangada, Córrego do Feijão mines, beneficiation plant and the sediment containment dams.
In December 2018, Vale obtained, in na acclerated manner, the environmental licenses for the Mine do Córrego do Feijão expansion, disrespecting the normal procedures. The process of obtaining environmental licenses was carried out in an irresponsible way, neglecting the impacts on water supply of the Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte (MRBH) and going in the other way of the popular will that denied the expansion of the enterprise.
This Vale´s crime has killed 9 people until now, numerous people have been injured and about 413 worker and about 350 people of the communities around are still missing. The tailings have reached the Paraopeba river destroying everything in their path, like houses, plantations, forests and the river running the risk of flowing into the São Francisco River. The water supply of several cities may be compromised, damaging rural communities and part of the RMBH supply system.
Vale, which historically maintains a pernicious practice in the regions where it operates, violating
the rights of communities, pursuing leaderships and destroying the ways of life of the territories,
remains unpunished until today for the crime committed in Mariana. The miner enters to the
story, once again, as responsible for the deaths of dozens of people.
We express our deep solidarity with the workers, affected communities and families who have
lost their loved ones for the crime committed by Vale. We will be acting together, organizing and
building the necessary struggles so that rights are guaranteed and the company is held
accountable. We demand from the Brazilian State the responsibility of Vale, the environmental
agencies that have allowed this tragedy and the immediate repair of the damages caused to the
To the Brazilian people there is no alternative but to fight against this model of death, of mineral
plunder, which imposes a destructive logic in our country! Crimes like these will recur if we do
not impose defeats on mineral capital. It is necessary to take the course of history by our own
hands and exercise popular sovereignty in mining, where the minerals are in the at service and
under the control of the Brazilian people.
Por um país soberano e sério!
Contra o saque dos nossos minérios!
Foto: Moisés Silva