Companies involved in Mariana environmental disaster are indicted

Samarco, Vale and VogBR are accused of pollution crimes causing harm

Published in 14/01/2016 - 15:54 By Maiana Diniz reports from Agência Brasil - Brasília

Mariana (MG) - O distrito de Bento Rodrigues foi atingido pela lama devido ao rompimento de barragem de rejeito da mineradora Samarco (Antonio Cruz/Agência Brasil)

Fundão dam collapsed on November 5th in Mariana, Minas Gerais, causing the death of 17 people, devastating towns, restricting water supply in several cities,.Antonio Cruz/ Agência Brasil

The federal police (PF) indicted Wednesday (Jan. 13) Samarco mining company and seven executives and technicians of the company on environmental crimes caused by the burst of 32 million cubic meters of mining residues over the river Rio Doce. One of the accused is the Samarco's CEO Ricardo Vescovi.

Vale, one of the mining company's owner, and the consultancy firm VogBR, responsible for the report that certified the stability of the collapsed dam, were also indicted.

In a statement, Vale declared to have received the indictment news with shock and that to account the company for the crime "reflects a personal understanding of the chief of police and it happened in a moment when the real causes of the accident have not been technically attested yet and are therefore unknown." The note also declared that the company will technically prove that the premises used by the Federal Police " actually have no causal link to the accident."

Samarco reported in a statement that they do not agree with the indictment of the company's professionals by the PF. According to the mining company so far "there is no technical expert conclusion on the causes of the accident".

The VogBR will only make an announcement after the official statement of the Federal Police.

The defendants are accused of pollution crimes  causing harm to human health, animal death and destruction of flora, all provided by the Environmental Crimes Law, among other violations. The penalty for this offense is to serve jail term from six months to five years, in addition to a fine.

Fundão dam collapsed on November 5th in Mariana, Minas Gerais, causing the death of 17 people, devastating towns, restricting water supply in several cities, and it continues to cause serious environmental impacts on the river Rio Doce and the Atlantic Ocean .


Translated by Amarílis Anchieta


Fonte: Companies involved in Mariana environmental disaster are indicted

Edition: Luana Lourenço / Nira Foster

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