Some 500 people affected by the dam break in November 2015, organized by the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) protested in front of the 12th Federal Court of Justice in the capital city of Belo Horizonte. The group denounced the way the Federal Justice has been treating the people affected by the largest social/environmental crime in Brazil and constant rulings in favor of mining companies Samarco, Vale e BHP Billiton.
More than one million of people are affected since the dam burst occurred on November 5th of 2015, since then the affected families live in uncertainty of their futures. The people that lost their homes due to the mud flood from the several municipalities (Bento Rodrigues, Paracatu, Ponte do Gama, Pedras, Gesteira and Barra Longa) of the district of Mariana, still today are waiting for the resettlement project for their new homes.
“The feeling that we have is… we are being stalled by the mining companies. Our hopes and dreams are being paralyzed. We live in anxiety without knowing which day we will be able to go back home.”, says Luzia Queiróz, from the affected municipality of Paracatu de Baixo.
The toxic mud avalanche, which flowed through the three municipalities and down to the Doce river basin, interrupted the water supply in several cities and resulted in thousands of workers losing their jobs. The subsequent contamination of the river killed several fish species and many people are getting ill due to the consumption of contaminated water.
At the river base on the coastline of Espirito Santo, there are still entire communities not recognized as affected by the dam break and thousands of fishers are jobless since and most can't afford to even feed themselves.
“Today, the people affected are organized and come to question and demand real justice from the Brazilian courts. Twenty-one months after the criminality of the dam break and the only answer until now has been several benefits and privileges conceded by the Federal Justice in benefit of Samarco, Vale and BHP. It's very clear for society that the Brazilian justice power only serves those that have economic power,” says a member of MAB’s leadership.