On June 1, residents of the town of Brumadinho protested for justice in Belo Horizonte, the capital of the state of Minas Gerais, one and a half years after the crime committed by the mining company Vale.  

Protesters blocked access to the Jangada Mine, which is also operated by Vale, and demanded payment of the compensation to which Vale had been sentenced by the bourgeosie  judiciary.  They also demanded compensation for all inhabitants of Brumadinho. Vale, on the other hand, wants to pay only to people from specific districts and refuses to pay for the long-term consequences.

On 25 January 2019, the dam of the tailings pond of the Vale iron ore mine in Brumadinho, in the state of Minas Gerais, collapsed. The mudslide killed hundreds of people, destroyed houses and contaminated soil.

Brazil orders Vale to suspend activities at two mine complexes

These ponds are used to absorb fine-grained heavy metals from the ore processing industry. With the collapse, almost 12 million cubic meters (12 billion liters) of sludge poured over the underlying land, killing at least 300 people. It also destroyed countless fields and dozens of houses in the village of Paque Cachoeira. Finally, the avalanche flowed into the river Paraopeba.

Although iron oxide as such is not toxic, but sludge from iron ore processing contains high concentrations of heavy metals, which are harmful to humans and nature.  Soils and groundwater, as well as the Paraopeba River, are contaminated for a long time and heavy metals accumulate in the body. The consequences are chronic diseases that can lead to death.

The dam in Brumadinho, had been examined just in September of the previous year by the TÜV-Süd (a German company) and was classified as safe despite a large list of deficiencies. Expertises, construction drawings and other documents were missing. "When looking at the relationship between the mine operator Vale and TÜV-Süd, a close personal interrelationship became apparent [...]. It can therefore be assumed that [...] there was a mutual interest in the continued operation of the dam." In 2015, a very similar incident occurred just 130 km away. The dam of a tailings pond of an iron ore mine belonging to the Vale Group broke at that time as well.

What happened was not an accident or misfortune, it was a crime against the people, murder in the service of the bureaucratic capital with the friendly support of German imperialism. And no money in the world can make up for crimes against the people.

More links to the topic:
    • https://demvolkedienen.org/index.php/de/lat-amerika/3014-neue-aktionen-der-genossen-und-verbrechen-der-reaktion-in-indien-2
    • https://demvolkedienen.org/index.php/de/lat-amerika/3053-demonstrationen-in-ganz-brasilien-einen-monat-nach-dem-verbrechen-von-vale-in-brumadinho