On the verge of the fourth anniversary of Vale’s tragedy in Brumadinho, the city will spend one more Christmas with the bitter taste of injustice.

Contrary to the victims’ families’ claims, the Brazilian Supreme Federal Court (STF) has decided that Vale and Tuv Sud should be judged at the federal level, and not in the state of Minas Gerais, where the tragedy occurred.

The Brazilian Supreme Court (STF) defined, last December 17, that the Federal Court will be responsible for the judgment of those accused of the rupture of Vale’s dam at the Córrego do Feijão mine, in Brumadinho, metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte, on January 25 2019, causing the deaths of 272 people.

The STF analyzed an appeal filed by the Public Ministry of Minas Gerais against the decision of the Superior Court of Justice (STJ) in favor of the former president of Vale, Fábio Schwartzman, and Felipe Figueiredo, a former engineer at the mining company. The STJ determined that the case should leave the State Court and proceed to the Federal sphere, which was confirmed by the majority of the ministers with this most recent decision.

The victims’ relatives defended that the judgment should remain in the Justice of Minas Gerais, as they considered that it would be easier to follow the process and claim that the change could lead to more delay in the judgment. The Association of Relatives of Victims and People Affected by the Breaking of the Dam in Brumadinho (Avabrum) stated that the decision caused a feeling of “perplexity” and “revolt” among family members and those affected by the criminal tragedy. In line with Avabrum’s wish, the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Minas Gerais promised to submit embargoes on the Supreme Court’s decision.

“This STF decision invalidates all the progress we have made in the investigations in the courts of Minas Gerais until now. It only serves to postpone justice and protect the powerful companies Vale and Tuv Süd. It is a real affront to the families of those who died due to the greed and negligence performed by such corporations”, concludes Avabrum.