Headlines of Brumadinho Legacy Project – August/2022

Launching of the #TomorrowMightBeTooLate campaign; an article about how the tragedy of Vale’s dam failure caused mental health hazards in the population of Brumadinho; and a member of Avabrum as keynote speaker in a seminary about tailings management in Australia. Check out the news that made headlines in our project in August!  

Tomorrow might be too late

A publicitary campaign launched to call attention to the importance of preventing labor related accidents and tragedies, with touching videos in which relatives of Brumadinho’s dam tragedy tell stories about their lost loved ones. The aim is to alert society to the fact that the day is today that you can save lives, through responsible work safety politics, because tomorrow might be too late. This action goes along with one of the most important axes of the Brumadinho Legacy Project: to spread alerts and try and arouse consciousness among governance and institutions, so what happened in Brumadinho shall never happen again.  

Get to know more: https://legadobrumadinho.com.br/blog/tragedia-de-brumadinho-e-tema-da-campanha-amanha-pode-ser-tarde-que-alerta-para-a-importancia-da-prevencao-de-acidentes-de-trabalho/

Dam failure left physical and mental sequelae in the population of Brumadinho

On National Health Day (August 5), the population of Brumadinho (MG) had no reason to celebrate. Three and a half years after the tailings dam collapsed, the consequences of the tragedy on the health of the city’s residents remain very present. For the coming years, there are worrying prognoses. In the area of ​​mental health, the forecast is that, in the next ten years, the strong negative effects triggered by the tragedy-crime will still be part of the reality experienced by the population, according to the clinical coordinator of the mental health team of the municipality of Brumadinho, the psychologist Rodrigo Chaves Nogueira.

Several cases of disease development among family members of victims of the dam failure have been reported by the Association of Relatives of Victims and People Affected by the Failure of the Mina Córrego do Feijão Dam (AVABRUM). According to the board of AVABRUM, the health of family members became more fragile, resulting in cases of depression, diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, cancer, stroke, etc. Moreover, family members have faced acute cases of sadness, but reject the possibility of going to doctors for fear of death.

According to Nogueira, studies in the health area show that, in “situations of exposure” to “extreme” events, such as what happened with the dam failure, “there is a great change in people’s lives, from a social point of view, emotional and cultural”. “In the case of Brumadinho, the families were not able to perform their farewell rituals for their relatives who died. There were wakes, but no bodies,” said the psychologist. 

Get to know more:

Angélica Andrade as keynote speaker at “The Social Cost of Tailings Management” Seminar, in Australia

Promoted by the Centre of Social Responsibility in Mining, at The University of Queensland, Australia, the event featured keynote speaker Angelica Andrade, community representative of Brumadinho. In her speech Angélica points out that the tragedy of Brumadinho is a stark warning that there’s still a lot of measures yet to be taken by the mining industry to safeguard lives, to  improve performance and demonstrate transparency. It was to discuss matters concerning the importance of adequate tailings management that the institution promoted on August 28, the seminar The Social Cost of Tailings Management.

Born and raised in Brumadinho, Angélica Andrade was directly affected by the tragedy, having lost her sister Amanda Andrade, who worked as an engineer at Vale. Since then, she has become a representative of the community in the fight for justice and change in the mining sector,  by raising awareness of what actually happened. “The terrible failures of the companies Vale and Tüv Süd are unacceptable, and the consequences of their actions can never be forgotten”, she points out. 

In the course of her battle, she has been able to participate in a broad range of conventions and conferences around the world, such as the PRI in Person, in Paris in 2019, which is supported by the UN and The Global Mining and Tailings Safety Conference in London, on the eve of the first anniversary of the tragedy. She was also an invited speaker at the Global Launch Event of the New Tailings Management Standard for the industry in August 2020, and in 2021 she was invited to be a member of the international advisory panel for the formation of the Global Institute of Tailings Management, a UN initiative.

The Legacy of Brumadinho Project will soon release an article, with Angélica’s main ideas exposed at the event.

* The Brumadinho Legacy Project is carried out with resources allocated by the Management Committee for Moral Damage Collective paid as social compensation for the rupture of the dam in Brumadinho in 25/01/2019, which claimed 272 lives.