Samarco’s mining dam burst at Mariana: why we need a UN treaty – CIDSE
Joka Madruga/ Terra sem Males/ #Lamaquemata

Samarco’s mining dam burst at Mariana: why we need a UN treaty

Joka Madruga/ Terra sem Males/ #Lamaquemata

This dossier, with text, video footage and pictures offers a striking look back at a disaster that resulted in the death of nearly 20 people, the destruction of entire villages and the contamination of two major rivers.

On November 5th, 2015, the Fundão dam burst in the municipality of Mariana in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Millions of cubic metres of iron mining tailings from the mine operated by Samarco, a Vale-BHP Billiton joint venture, created a torrent of mud that destroyed entire villages, including schools and churches, and contaminated the Gualaxo do Norte, Carmo and Doce rivers. 19 people died and many more were affected by the events.

>>> Click on the picture below to access the multimedia dossier

Multimedia dossier


The online multimedia dossier sheds light upon the events, analyses its consequences and assesses responsibilities. It was developed by the CIDSE network in conjunction with several partners in Brazil and Latin America and it includes video footage from the disaster, interviews with the affected people, and pictures of the area after the breaking of the dam.

CIDSE developed this dossier to make this scandalous story and the fight of the affected people for justice as widely known as possible. Two years after the event, affected communities still lack meaningful compensation and rehabilitation of their livelihoods. Furthermore, this is not an isolated case: there are many other communities around the world who are suffering the negative consequences of irresponsible mining – possible dam breaches being amongst them.

From 23 to 27 October, UN member states will start negotiations on the content of a UN treaty on transnational corporations and other businesses with respect to Human Rights. The hope is immense as such a treaty could oblige TNCs to be legally responsible vis a vis the impacts of their operations worldwide, and provide an avenue for victims of business-related human rights abuses.

To prevent further Mariana tragedies, it is of crucial importance that all UN member states participate constructively in the upcoming UN treaty negotiations.


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