Global Solidarity from Spain and Portugal with Brasil: crime by the mining company Vale in Brumadinho should not happen again

Solidarity action of ContraMINAcción, member of Yes to Life No To Mining in Galicia, Spain, together with organizations that reject mining throughout the Iberian Peninsula, towards the victims of the avalanche caused by the breakage of a dam from the mine Corrego do Feijão, in Brumadinho (Minas Gerais, Brazil).

Members of ContraMINAcción along with the representatives of the Asociación de Afectados por Metales Pesados (Cartagena), Coordinadora No a la Mina de Uranio (Salamanca), La Raya sin Minas (Valencia de Alcántara, Cáceres), No a la Mina en el Valle del Corneja (Ávila), No a la Mina en la Sierra de Ávila (Ávila), No a la Mina en la Sierra de Yemas (Ávila), No en mi Tierra (Zamora), Oro No (Asturias), Plataforma Ciudadana Sierra de Morón (Sevilla), Plataforma Sierra de Gata Viva (Cáceres), Salvemos la Montaña (Cáceres), Salvemos las Villuercas (Cáceres) and Unidos em Defesa de Covas do Barroso UDCB (Portugal) and Yes to Life No To Mining/Sí a la Vida No a la Minería YLNM (Global)

During the IV Meeting of ContraMINAcción, a solidarity action with the victims of the avalanche caused by the breakage of the dam at the Corrego do Feijão mine in Brumadinho (Minas Gerais) was carried out. The objective was to show support and solidarity with the victims of the mining catastrophe that occurred on January 25, 2019.

The organizations participating in the Meeting both from Galicia and the entire Iberian Peninsula and a representative of Yes to Life No To Mining YLNM are joining this action.

In Brazil, this accident is already qualified as a crime, with the company Vale being held accountable, whose negligence ended the lives of at least 165 people – there are still 155 missing – and completely destroyed houses and lands. The region was flooded with sludge contaminated with heavy metals, leaving no family members, no personal belongings, no vegetable gardens and no places where hundreds of people live. Many of the victims were workers of the mining company.

There were clear indications of the possibility of this accident happening and the mining company Vale was aware of the risks, according to documentation seized by the Brazilian police, but did not implement necessary additional security measures.

The warning given by the communities

The communities affected by mining projects are the true experts to be listened to, both in many of the technical issues related to the mine, and in regard to the defense of our life and our environment. In the case of Brazil, the Movemento dos Atingidos por Barragens made numerous complaints and warnings that were not taken into account.

We demand not only punishment for those guilty of the crime in Brumadinho, but also justice. The mining company Vale is also liable for a similar previous crime that happened in Mariana, in the same state of Minas Gerais. On that occasion, 19 people died and the spilled mud travelled 600 km to the sea causing enormous environmental damage that continues to have consequences and has not been repaired.

We demand not only that each and every one of the consequences of this crime are addressed, but that the warnings and demands of those communities affected by mining throughout the world are heard, that mining projects are stopped in similar circumstances and that they never undertake mining projects that involve risks of this type again.

In the Iberian Peninsula we have, for example, the case of the raft that belongs to the mining project Rio Tinto, which is in imminent danger of breakage and there is an identical denial by the company in charge and the incompetent authorities. The possibility of a breakage of this type in our geography was confirmed by the accident of Aznalcóllar in 1998.

The IV Meeting of ContraMINAcción took place on February 16 and 17 in Santiago de Compostela, organized by ContraMINAcción Network against Destructive Mining in Galicia.

The coordinator of Yes to Life No to Mining for Southern Europe and Latin America, Guadalupe Rodríguez, supported the organization of this community to community meeting.

To learn more about the crime of the mining company Vale: #Brumadinho

To know more about the intense days of the meeting: # ContraMINA2019

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