Statement from La Via Campesina International regarding the tragedy of Brumadinho / MG, Brazil -
Last Friday, January 25, 2019, we witnessed a great environmental and social crime caused by one of the largest mining corporations in the world. The “Corrego do Feijão” dam of the company Vale S.A ruptured, dumping more than 14 million m³ of mineral waste throughout the Brumadinho region of Minas Gerais.
So far there are 58 fatalities, and an estimated 300 disappeared.
La Via Campesina Internacional stands in solidarity with the affected families, and expresses all its support for the organized struggle of social movements, in this sad moment for Brazilian history. We call on the organization of the affected families to guarantee their rights and end the impunity of corporations, which violate rights and threaten the life of humanity and common goods, we affirm the urgency that the victims be heard to constitute everything the repair process.
For decades, as La Via Campesina we have denounced global corporate impunity and its actions in the territories. In 2015, Vale was also responsible for the destruction of the entire Doce River basin and the coastal coasts, a fact that has remained in total impunity. This fact demonstrated the lack of action of the states in their duty to protect the people. This tragedy also represents a system of destruction and exploitation of human beings and the environment, of biological diversity, which monopolizes fertile lands, in the name of savage capitalism. The peasants of La Vía Campesina continue to denounce the consequences of this model of exploitation and death.
We call on the Brazilian government to give adequate attention to the victims, and hold the company and its managers responsible for this serious crime. Likewise, we call on Brazilian society to support the struggle of organized popular movements so that events like Mariana and Brumadinho do not repeat themselves in history.
For interviews in Brazil:
Maria Julia Andrade - Movement for Popular Sovereignty in Mining, MAM: +55 31 85 117 347
Tchenna Maso - Movement of Those Affected by Dams, MAB: +55 27 995203101
Source: La Via Campesina