Source: ABC.es / The Dawn / December 17, 2015.- The UN has alerted that Brazil is at risk of suffering similar consequences of negligence in other 40 dams. Fishermen and biologists of Gerais and Espírito Santo states warn about unknown consequences of the chemical reactions on health and biodiversity.
In a video, a fisherman cries. “They took away our joy”
“Brazil needs to find a balance between economic interests and protection of human rights in its search for economic growth”, warned yesterday Pavel Sulyandziga, spokesperson of the UN group that has arrived in the country to evaluate consequences of the rupture of a dam that contained 62 million cubic meters in water deposits and mineral residues in the city of Mariana.
The UN has alerted that Brazil is at risk of suffering tragedies similar to this one, that occurred on November 5 in Mariana, leaving 16 dead and 3 missing, EFE reports.
According to the UN document, only in the state of Minas Gerais, where the tragedy occurred, there are 40 dams —of the 735 registered— that are qualified as “insecure”, two of which —the ones in Santarém and Selinha— are at risk of rupture.
The Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) of Brazil published earlier in December that the wave of toxic mud caused by the mining company Samarco in its dam in the city of Mariana already affected 663 kilometers of the Doce river and its affluents, with the destruction of 1,469 hectares of land, including areas under Permanent Preservation, says Adital, news portal.
Samarco is owned by two of the great international mining groups, the anglo-australian BHP Billiton and the Brazilian Vale, biggest producer of mineral iron in the world. The company said it would compensate the damage done with money, for 250 million euro.
A premeditated crime
The Fisher’s Movement of Brazil (MPP) has denounced that the situation is “critical” and that the tragedy will only “get worse”. “This tragedy happened exactly in the breeding season of fish”, such as the sea bass and the sea bream who come to the Doce river to lay eggs. The spokesman of the platform, Manoel Bueno, has said that, in his opinion, this is not a natural disaster but a “premeditated crime”: “There had been warnings of this danger and the company did nothing to prevent it, they did nothing to contain it”, he says.
To the 11 million tonnes of dead fish estimated to this date, we must add the birds that are dying in recent days, probably intoxicated from having fed from dead fish. And, of course, locals people from cities near the affected areas are concerned about the consequences they can suffer when they drink the unhealthy water. “They say that in a few years, people might die, deformed babies may be born, and we don’t know exactly why”, said Bueno, worried about the lack of information they are getting from the government of Brazil.
Biologists have also alerted that, as a consequence of the unknown chemical reactions that are taking place “something is forming and we don’t know exactly what it is”, organic acids are being formed in the fauna and flora of the region, and “its consequences are a mystery”.
There is a Facebook page called “Humans of Rio Doce” where people, who have already organized two massive popular demonstrations, the last of which was held on December 12, share their impressions and uncertainties about the Mariana disaster, that can be compared with the nuclear plant accident of Fukushima (Japan, 2011) as Brazilian biologist André Ruschi said when it was confirmed that the toxic mud, composed mainly by seven heavy metals: arsenic, mercury, cadmium, iron, manganese, nickel and aluminum, had reached the sea.