In stark contrast to the scene and tone of the public release of the BHP commissioned “Cause of Failure Report ” where Dr. Morgenstern gave the committees version of events poised , elegant in his immaculate suit from a large video screen, the government report released this week begins with a poem speaking to the unspeakable.
“O sertão vai virar mar
É o mar virando lama
Gosto amargo do Rio Doce
De Regência a Mariana
Quantas pessoas sem rumo como canoas sem remos
Ou pescadores sem linha e sem anzóis?
Quantas pessoas sem sorte, quantas pessoas com fome?
Quantas pessoas sem nome, quantas pessoas sem voz?
Morreu debaixo da lama, morreu debaixo do trem?
Ele era filho de alguém, e tinha filho e mulher?
Isso ninguém quer saber, com isso ninguém se importa
Parece que essas pessoas já nascem mortas
Quem olha acima, do alto, ou na TV em segundos
Às vezes vê todo mundo, mas não enxerga ninguém
E não enxerga a nobreza de quem tem pouco, mas ama
De quem defende o que ama e valoriza o que tem”1
O MINISTÉRIO PÚBLICO FEDERAL, por seus Procuradores da República
signatários, no exercício de suas atribuições constitucionais e legais, comparecem,
respeitosamente, perante Vossa Excelência, com base nos procedimentos investigatórios em
epígrafe e com fundamento no art. 129, I, da Constituição Federal, para oferecer DENÚNCIA
The bumps and squiggles of the Bing translation soften its deep grieving somewhat
“The backcountry will turn sea
Is the sea turning into mud
Bitter taste of Rio Doce
How many people aimless as canoes without oars
Or fishermen without line and without hooks?
How many people no luck, how many people hungry?
How many people without name, how many people without a voice?
Dead under the mud, died under the train?
He was the son of someone, and had a son and wife?
That nobody wants to know, with that nobody cares
It seems that these people are born dead
Who looks up, from the top, or on TV in seconds
Sometimes you see everyone, but I can’t see nobody
And can’t see the nobility of who has little, but he loves
Who defends what he loves and appreciates what has “1
The FEDERAL PROSECUTORS, for their public prosecutors
Contracting Parties, in the exercise of their constitutional and legal assignments, attend,respectfully, before your Excellency, on the basis of the investigative procedures in epigraph and based on art. 129, I, of the Federal Constitution to provide
Remembering Emanuely, age 5, swept from her fathers arms as he tried to outrun the towering wall of advancing mud. While her parents held out hope they posted this sign, Her tiny shattered body was found 40 km downstream.
Indictments and poems of lament and sorrow certainly belong after such an event and what is now known about how this avoidable catastrophe formed and evolved but surely more was needed. In Brazil, In Canada, within the world’s major mining associations, in the Board rooms of the worlds largest miners, in legislative chambers, not one useful reform has been put forward. A lot of rhetoric has been thrown as around declaring “no more failures” but it all just allows what was to continue..There is no real change.
Our data tell us this decade 2015-2025 will see the largest number of catastrophic mine failures ever in recorded history.
Indictments and poems of lament at the devastation a greedy thoughtless trio of companies co created is just not enough in the face of what is to come.
Lindsay Newland Bowker, Executive Director
Bowker Associates Science & Research In The Public Interest
November 4 2016
Here are some excerpts from the report
VALES DEPOSITINSOF SLIMES CAUSED THE FATAL CO MIXING OF SLIMES & SANDS WHICH LED TO CATASTROPHIC FAILURE
On p. 41 of the charge sheet, it says Vale sent 5.817 million cubic meters of waste into the Dike 2 reservoir, meant for slimes. A simulation detailed in SETEC Report no. 994 (whatever that is) found that without Vale, the slimes would never have flowed into the sands reservoir.
Apesar disso, a VALE encaminhou, entre os anos de 2008 a 2015, para o SRF, no Dique 2, o volume de 5.187.610 m3. Em média, a produção de rejeito da VALE encaminhada para a barragem do Fundão foi igual a 648.451 m3, anualmente. O Laudo SETEC n.º 994 identificou, por meio de simulação, que se não houvesse a contribuição de rejeitos da VALE para o reservatório de Fundão a premissa de separação dos rejeitos, concebida no projeto original com o alteamento conjunto dos dois diques, não teria se perdido durante a operação.
From the introduction
“The victims have been identified. All those who lost their lives.
Can you imagine being overtaken by a wall of mud and waste ? An accident? No. It was caused by technical flaws in implementation and maintenance consciously
chosen to reduce costs and increase dividends.Over many years, countless actions by all three companies at the highest levels, aware of the dangers in their choices, avoided that reality hoping to buy time with technically dubious measures”.
With respect to VOGBR, the indictment refutes almost every declaration briefly posted by VOGBR after they learned they were named. Bowker Associates excerpted and posted some of that text which maintained that they did no site inspections, were given the data and the form of analysis to be performed by Samarco. The indictment says VOGBR was fully aware of the history of the Fundao and of the specific deficiencies that were cited as the root cause of failure and leant their name to a finding of stability when they knew that was not true.(pp 28-30+)
FINDINGS OF VALES USE OF FUNDAO NOT AUTHORIZED AND CONTRUBUTED TO FAILURE
“It was determined Vale’s tailings depositions greatly influenced the rise of the
reservoir level,contributing about 27% of all the mud deposited between the
years 2008 to 2015 in Fundão dam. Without their contribution, despite the ommission of drainage elements and the poor planning on the slimes dam, the slimes would not have overrun their dam into the sandy tailings or resulted in the failure to maintain the 200m beach. Vale is found to have itentionally hidden and falsified information information on its long term use of the Fundao for it sown tailngs ” PP 40-41+ ( For further details see Bowker Associates post on Vale’s use of the Fundao)