Brazil: Vale Company to pay for damages caused by Brumadinho dam collapse

26 August 2019; originally published here by BBC 10 July 2019

A judge in Brazil has ordered mining giant Vale to pay compensation for all damages caused by the collapse of the Brumadinho dam in January. The collapse was Brazil’s worst industrial accident. The judge did not set a figure for the compensation but said that the company was responsible for fixing all the damages including the economic effects.

At least 248 people were killed as a sea of mud engulfed a staff canteen, offices and nearby farms. Twenty-two people are still missing following the collapse of the Feijão dam on 25 January.

Judge Elton Pupo Nogueira also said that $2.9bn (£2.3bn) of Vale’s assets frozen by courts should remain blocked. He said the funds should be used to make compensation payments to affected families and businesses. Explaining why he had not specify an amount for Vale to pay out, he argued that technical and scientific criteria were not enough to quantify the effects of the collapse. 

“The value [of the compensation] is not limited to the deaths resulting from the event, it also affects the environment on a local and regional level as well as the economic activity in the affected region.”

Judge Nogueira

Thus far according to the BBC article, and please find the entire article here.

What is interesting to note, is the indication that Judge Nogueira leaves room for the impact of this environmental disaster to be determined in the future for the environment as well. This gives hope for a different view of how corporations are going to have to rectify the ramifications of a disaster from their operations.

Along those lines is how The Crowd Versus works: we believe legal change will create societal change. Because we think that a company has a social duty to the people surrounding its location and to the environment.

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This is Why Our Future Lies in the Hands of Those Protecting the Amazon

This is Why Our Future Lies in the Hands of Those Protecting the Amazon

The Amazon rainforest is the most important forest in the world and crucial to limit global warming. Protecting the forest should be a top priority of world leaders, companies and citizens. Sadly everyday a part is being destroyed, directly affecting the lives of the indigenous and local communities. Hivos and Greenpeace support indigenous and local communities in their battle against the destruction of their territory.

30 November 2018

Deforestation by new president

André Karipuna, the leader of one of the Indigenous communities in the Brazilian Amazon, reported about the dramatic situation at a UN meeting in Geneva. His people are afraid of their lives because of (illegal) deforestation. Their territory is demarcated and protected by Brazilian law, but after the election of the new president Jair Bolsonaro, their future is at stake. During his election campaign, Jair Bolsonaro promised that his government will stop demarcating new indigenous lands and revise the existing ones.

Weaken surveillance on environmental crimes

The new president also declared that he would weaken surveillance on environmental crimes, loosen up environmental licensing rules, and allow the use of weapons by rural landowners. This policy could have huge effects on the environment and the safety of people, like André Karipuna, trying to protect it.

Limit global warming

Not only local communities are dependent on the new Brazilian government to protect the forest, but we all are. Only then we can limit global warming. Brazil holds the key to our future. Turning a blind eye for illegal deforestation, land grabbing, human rights abuse and the continuous destruction of the Amazon can be the end of our planet’s ecosystem.

Support from Hivos and Greenpeace

André Karipuna’s community, and others Indigenous and local communities get support from the All Eyes on the Amazon program. Hivos and Greenpeace run this program, together with a coalition of organizations working in the same field. They call upon companies and governments to protect the Amazon no matter who the future president is.

Source and Photo Hivos: All Eyes on the Amazon: the future of protecting forests in Brazil