Early this afternoon (25/01/2019), one more dam broke in Minas Gerais. Located in Mina do Feijão, in Brumadinho, it belongs to Vale S.A. No official information was disseminated until now regarding the number of victims and the dimension of the consequent destruction. However, with the information available in the network, this may be a worse crime than the one by their colleagues in November 2015 in Bento Rodrigues, Mariana. The 2015 crime murdered 19 people, it destroyed Rio Doce and brutally affected the living conditions of entire population. Those to blame remain with impunity, without even paying compensations to the victims.

By Jorge Mendoza

In this time of anguish, affliction and uncertainty, the PSTU stands in solidarity with all whose lives have been affected in some way by this criminal act by the Vale.

This sort of cases are consequence of a model of predatory mineral exploitation pushed by the great economic groups of the sector. They despise environmental laws and labor security in favor of increasing the profit margin of their auction holders who parasite our labor and the wealth of our country.

What happened in Brumadinho had already been announced. Recent history shows that the way to profit by the great mining enterprises in the country, characterized by the use of obsolete and cheaper methods, like tailing dams, is the perfect formula for the series of successive crimes that have been registered. Since 2001, this is the seventh case of a dam breaking in the State of Minas Gerais.

The governments and the great parties who alternate in office also have their hands filled with mud and blood, since they rule in favor of the interests of the great enterprises. One must remember that shortly after the crime of Samarco, the governor at the time Fernando Pimentel/PT, who behaved as a true defender of Vale, as an accomplice of its actions, sanctioned a state bill to make more flexible the environmental licenses for these projects in Minas. Equally, the current governor Romeu Zema/NOVO stated after being elected that his priority would be to accelerate the process of environmental licensing even more. He justified this by the need to attracting new investments. In the same sense, President Jair Bolsonaro/PSL has as one of its flags the weakening of the environmental control in the country, like the IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources-Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis).

Unlike the standing adopted by the governments and great enterprises, mining as it is practiced today is not in service of the progress of the communities affected. It is characterized by low wages, unemployment in times of crisis, dust, illnesses, accidents and catastrophes like this one, in exchange for crumbs that fall of the table of the auction holders.

  • All solidarity with the people of Brumadinho and the workers of the Vale SA and their families!
  • Stop impunity: the criminal Vale must pay for its actions! Prison and goods confiscation of those responsible!
  • For more public funds in dams controls and mining activity!
  • For the end of dams! For more investments to change the model of ore processing to generate jobs and preserve the environment and communities!
  • Nationalization without compensation of Vale, Samarco, CSN under workers and communities’ control!
  • For a socialist government of the workers to set our wealth in service of the entire society!

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