The biggest environmental disaster in Brazil happened on November 5 and left 19 dead. The rupture of the Fundão dam in the historic city of Mariana in the state of Minas Gerais led to the dumping of 34 million cubic meters of mud loaded with iron ore tailings from the Samarco company owned by Vale and BHP. Numerous riverside and agricultural communities on the banks of the Rio Doce were directly impacted and very little has been done so far to minimize these impacts. After a year of the accident, the UN condemned the few actions taken by Samarco to compensate for the socio-environmental damage caused by the tragedy. The Brazilian government, on the other hand, exerts little pressure on the mining companies that operate in the country since they profit a lot from their presence in mining taxes in the Brazilian lands.


The 40 million m³ that leaked after the collapse of the Fundão dam and spread over an area of ​​115km in the region, the banks of the Rio Doce were not withdrawn by Samarco and remain unfeasible the fishing and farming activities of the surrounding communities. Studies of the future consequences of the country's greatest environmental disaster are still scarce and promote a scenario of abandonment for these residents who survived their activities in the Rio Doce. Currently affected families receive a minimum wage per month with an increase of 150 reais for each family member.

*Assignment for Greenpeace

Using Format