Brazils Environmental Tragedy
Remains of one of the villages affected by the mudslides. Paracatu De Baixo, Minas Gerais, BR.
A graffiti sign reads "Under the blood of our miners! Nationalization and Industrialization". Mariana, Minas Gerais, BR.
The State of Minas Gerais in Brazil translates "General Mines" known for the rich earth quality. The Fundao dam that collapsed is owned by the company Samarco, a joint venture between Vale and BHP. "Samarco claims to have spent on damage repairwas fined up to 5.2 billion reais for the enviromental damages." says Luisa Machado, the Producer of REJEITOS. documentary covering the tragedy. "However, the total fines for the company were less than a billion and Samarco has evaded many of them through law."
The mudslide cost the lives of 19 people and displaced 600 civilians in the town of Bento Rodrigues. Many others in surrounding villages were also displacement. This photo displays the main street of the town of Bento Rodrigues, one of the villages completly wiped out from the mudslide.
An example of the Graffiti on an old school in Bento Rodrigues, "Samarco wanted to kill us but Jesus saved us. Jesus loves the people of Bento Rodrigues."
An interview with two members of Bento Rodrigues, who lost their home and belongings.
Tomas, the director of the documentary REJEITOS, visits the remains of Paracatu de Baixo.
One of many examples of the houses destroyed by the toxic mudslides.
Despite the total destruction of the house, a photo depicting The Last Supper remains intact. From Bento Rodrigues, Minas Gerais, BR.
Um Minuto De Sirene (A minute of Sirens) is the protest movement created by the people affected by the disaster. The day the dam broke, no siren was alarmed for the civilians even amidst such an emergency.
Here, people gather at the Praça Da Sé (main plaza) Mariana, January 2016.
Mariana, Minas Gerais, BR.
At "Um Minuto de Sirene" Civilians gather to place their houses on a map placed in Marianas town cneter.
Mariana, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Mariana, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
#UmMinutoDeSirene sign reads:
This is an action of the network bento speaks, created by residents of Mariana and Ouro Preto. The purpose of the network is to ensure that the flame of debate and information is always lit; We will not let one of the biggest environmental disasters in Brazil be forgotten without those responsible being punished and without having their rights guaranteed.
We organize in Mariana every day, 5 pm to 4 pm the act #AMinutodeSirene. With a siren triggered to remind you of failures in Samarco's emergency plan. In these acts, we also seek to bring together affected people and involved groups to discuss emerging actions and themes following the Fundão dam breach."
Example of propaganda from Samarco used to fill the towns and counties surrounding Mariana following the disaster.
"Samarco is here to listen to you".
The mayor of Mariana discusses its future of how the tragedy will affect tourism for Mariana and Ouro Preto. Mariana is the first city in the state of Minas Gerais, therefore historic part of the region that brings many tourists to the area.
Luisa, an anthropologist and the producer of the documenary REJEITOS, takes a rest after hours of interviews outside Mariana. Minas Gerias, BR.
After the disasterm, the river Rio Do Carmo, became contaminated with pollutants and waste. It's course spreads along from the Rio Doce into the Atlantic Ocean. A sign warns "Area of risk; dont come close".
Mercury and Arsin now pollute the rivers. In the small town of Barra Longa, the Rio Do Carmo is a tributary that flows into the Rio Doce.
The Rio Doce is the regions most important river. It stretches 853 kilometers ending in the Atlantic Ocean. All life substance depending on this river is now endangered. This includes local fisherman and other people who use the river as a source of livelyhood.
It is estimated the cleanup of the contaminated mud from the rivers will take 10-50 years to clean from the Rio Doce.
The effects of the mudslide displaced animals all throughout the region.
Tamis Haddad is a animal rights activist who headed to Mariana for the Animal Rescue center.