Activists protest against Vale following Brazil's dams tragedy


Over 100 activists gathered outside Brazil's mining giant Vale on Monday wearing a group "mud river" costume to represent the deadly dam burst at one of its iron oremines earlier this month.

The activists in Rio de Janeiro demanded a stronger response from the company after two of its dams collapsed in Mariana, causing major damage to the environment and killing at least seven people with 15 still missing.

The demonstrators smeared mud on the windows outside the company's headquarters and also covered the Vale's logos.

The iron ore mine run by Samarco, which is owned by Vale and BHP Billiton, has been fined 250 million reais ($65.5 million dollars) and forced to pay for accommodations for those dispossessed.

The company has drawn criticism for its delayed public response to the disaster and apparent lack of involvement in the recovery plan.

Activist, Valeria Rocha, said Vale needed to act quickly to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

"That was not an accident. This tragedy was predictable and if they do nothing about this, other similar tragedies will occur. We have to put a stop to all of this and Vale and BHP have to pay for what they did," she said.

Marina Guisardi, an agriculture engineer who helped organise the protest, said their goal was to make more people aware of the gravity of the issue.

"Today our goal is to catch the attention of more people so that Vale, Samarco and BHP commit to repairing everything that was destroyed," she said.

Samarco, Vale and BHP are scrambling to control the fallout from the disaster, which has polluted the Rio Doce river across two states and cut water supplies in many areas.

Raw: Brazil Dams Burst, Submerge Homes In Mud
Raw: Brazil Dams Burst, Submerge Homes In Mud

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Originally published