Jan 31, 2023 | News
“A Vale além de ter matado sonhos, ela se acha no direito de impor. Tem q ser no tempo dela”
Besides killing our dreams, Vale thinks it has the right to impose. It has to be in their timing”
Elizangela, cozinheira, Córrego do Feijão, Brumadinho (MG)
On January 25, in front of the Brazilian Embassy, we held an event to commemorate the victims of the Brumadinho crime. Together with the members of Brazil Matters and the London Mining Network, we held an emotional event where we read a poem about what happened in Brumadinho and also read all the names of the victims of the disaster. We come together to show our solidarity with the people of Brumadinho and tell the world that no one is forgotten.
Four years ago, a tailing dam of the iron ore mine Córrego do Feijão collapsed on this date. Vale owned this tailing dam. Almost 300 people died due to a colossal mudslide. In the years since at least 18 of Vale’s other dams in Brazil have failed to meet safety standards. Vale and TÜV Süd (the auditor who declared Brumadinho’s dam safe) have been charged. However, no criminal prosecutions have yet taken place. Hence, Vale continues to operate and profit in Brazil while its dams continue to be an immense threat to the lives, livelihoods and environments of all those around.
During this period of the year, a significant part of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais is hit by floods and landslides. A few years ago, one tailings dam overflowed, and thousands of people were displaced or homeless. Nevertheless, Vale is mining there again, neglecting any risk of the dam overflowing.
Enough of all this mud!
In mourning and in struggle, we will move forward together.
Shame that stains the clean waters
Brown water that does not satisfy my thirst
And this thirst that doesn’t soften so much pain
Black water that now kills
And this forest now devastated
By the water of shame
By the silent siren
By the negligence of capital
More than 200 dead
More than 100 people missing
And a total of almost 40,000 people affected
Indigenous, workers, mothers, fathers, blacks, women, children and the elderly
Evacuated, homeless, looking for a piece of land to save themselves from so much landfill
Still hope still avenges small
And the animal brigade saves alive
and 1 turtle.
What about the working men and women parents who left their children orphans?
Those children with buried parents, but without the right to funeral honours
Antigones created from the mud and ore of the time bomb dams about to explode in the veins of Brazil.
We are terrified and alienated
What is worth more?
The worker in the ditch?
The dog saved by the fireman?
What is the bill worth?
What about the cook who gave the food to the rescuer of the banishment?
Or the nurse who saved the fireman from asphyxiation in the evening?
What is life worth?
The brutality of the force of the wreckage on us?
Are we worth it?
How much is all that mountain that embraces us worth?
How much is the plate of heated soup that consoles me in the late afternoon of the futile search for survivors worth?
How much is our powerlessness worth?
Enough of this shame in the form of mud!
OUT WITH OMISSION! OUT LITERALLY! OUT OF ANGER!
We all say: in the sea of forgetfulness we shall be reborn!
It will be worth it:
The mother and the father
We all say: We will be saved and begin again!
No mud or ore or rough diamond or nugget is worth a life buried alive!
We say loudly: Enough!
Together, we brave the brute force of death as a birth to a new day of struggle and hope!
Together, we brave that will to be reborn from ashes and mud!
Together we will mould from the mud new horizons, clear and full of light!
Poem of Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Brazilian Poet.
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