The trail of destruction
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 created a torrent of mud that destroyed villages, including 349 houses, schools and churches, and contaminated the Gualaxo do Norte, Carmo and Doce rivers.↗In total, 19 people died.↗The dam was controlled by the Samarco Mineração S.A. mining company, a limited liability joint venture between the Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton Brasil Ltda. and the Brazilian Vale S.A. companies.↗
According to the US consulting firm, Bowker Associates, when you combine the mass outpouring of mud (estimated at between 32 and 63 million m³)↗, the extent of the destruction along the 680 km path and the damage (estimated at between $5 and $55 billion), this disaster is worse than the previous world record in the history of mining in three ways. ↗
As regards reparations and compensation, most of those affected are still waiting for justice. ↗
The town of Bento Rodrigues devastated by mud
Samarco’s iron mining tailings dam complex had no alarm signal installed, so when the Fundão dam burst on November 5th, 2015, there was no warning for the people of Bento Rodrigues, 2.5 km downstream, of the breach.↗
The inhabitants were surprised by the mud slaw of at least 32 million m3 ↗which made a direct hit on the small village of Bento Rodrigues. The 56 million m3 stored above the dam were enough to fill 24,800 Olympic-size swimming pools.↗
It barely took 11 minutes
It barely took 11 minutes ↗ for the mud to reach Bento Rodrigues, sweeping away walls and houses, burying streets and squares, destroying the trees and gardens of inhabitants, and carrying off enclosures and livestock.↗Those who heard the noise from afar, had just enough time to try to flee from the mud and save each others’ lives.↗
“The dam has burst!”
“The dam has burst”, yelled Paula Geralda Alves, who heard the news on a colleague’s radio. She immediately jumped on her motorbike to warn the people in Bento Rodrigues, sounding her horn to alert everyone. “My bike’s horn is really quiet but that day, I don’t know why, it was loud”, Paula said later. “When this happened, I rushed out getting young and old to get on top of a lorry, I helped a neighbour to carry her father who couldn’t walk; only after this did I climb a hill and look down. From there I could see everything was covered with mud. Bento was wiped out.” ↗
The mud rushed on
After Bento Rodrigues, the mud destroyed the houses in the Paracatu de Baixo district.↗
And the mud rushed on.↗
Fourteen hours after the dam burst, the torrent of mud that had flowed through countless houses and small farms in Pedras and Gesteira, as well as other villages along its path, reached the nearby town of Barra Longa. Even 11 hours after the dam gave way in Bento Rodrigues, people in Barra Longa say that no one had alerted them.↗ The mud destroyed homes and walls, schools, churches, burying roads and bridges.↗
The mud flowed into the valleys of the Gualaxo do Norte, Carmo and Doce rivers
And the mud flowed on.
The Fundão dam was situated approximately 1,200 metres above sea level. The mud flowed down towards the Gualaxo do Norte river, swamping its small bed, and continued on for 55 km to the Carmo. It flowed down the 22 km of the Carmo before reaching the Doce. The mining tailings mud passed through the locks and turbines of the Risoleta Neves hydroelectric dam in Candonga and over the following 17 days covered the remaining 580 km of the Doce, crossing the states of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo before reaching the Regência beach at Linhares in Espírito Santo, the mouth of the Doce on the Atlantic Ocean. ↗
The trail of destruction
... and the lives of those affected
586 of the Doce’s 853 kilometres were affected by the torrent of mud. ↗
Nineteen people were killed. According to the statement from the Procuradores da República nos Estados de Minas Gerais e Espírito Santo , [Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo state prosecutors ] 349 families were made homeless, their houses completely destroyed. Also destroyed, were two medical establishments, four schools and eight bridges. There were 195 rural properties that were directly affected, 25 of which were completely devastated, with 75% to 100% of their area affected. The places most affected by the flood of contaminated mud, which, according to the Ministério Público [Public Prosecution Service] “have become unsuitable for human habitation”, were in the districts and sub districts of Mariana, such as Bento Rodrigues, Paracatu de Baixo, Camargos, Águas Claras, Pedras, Campina Barreto, Gesteira, Ponte da Gama and the town of Barra Longa.↗
Compensating for the lack of official information
Given the trail of destruction and the slowness of public bodies in compiling and publishing detailed and reliable biological, microbiological, toxicological and zoological analyses, the regions directly affected had to start voluntary work to compensate for the lack of official information on the consequences of the breaching of the Samarco dam. Dante Pavan, a biologist from the GIAIA (Grupo Independente de Avaliação de Impacto Ambiental [independent environmental impact assessment group]) research group was one of the first to analyse the mud and how living things were reacting to it. He went to Bento Rodriques in December 2015, a few weeks after the flood of mud had destroyed this village in the Mariana district.↗
What about the inhabitants; the people affected?
Seeing the destruction in Bento Rodriques where his home used to be, Cristiano, even today, has difficulty believing that “it really happened, this actually took place”.↗
he inhabitants who survived are living with anxiety day to day. They are traumatized.↗ Dona Aparecida from Barra Longa said, “I have to take medication to sleep properly. You never know, if it happened once, it could happen again”.↗
The mud affected traditionally fertile land
Downstream, the wave of mud also affected the traditionally fertile lands of small family farmers who grew crops on the river banks. José from Tumiritinga in Minas Gerais, a small family farmer, had to abandon his beetroot, carrot and lettuce crops where the mud struck his land. It became impossible to work land that was poisoned by the toxic mud. ↗
Marlene, a small family farmer also from Tumiritinga (MG) recounts how life had been previously and what she lost to the mud.↗
Drinking water, the water of life
In the states of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo, the supply of drinking water, water for animals and irrigation was contaminated.↗Water tankers had to be used to prevent people and animals from dying of thirst.↗
According to the complaint of the Ministério Público, the tide of contaminated mud caused, “the total or partial interruption of the water supply in 12 towns such as Alpercata/MG, Governador Valadares/MG, Tumiritinga/MG, Galileia/MG, Resplendor/MG, Itueta/MG, Aimorés/MG, Baixo Guandu/ES, Colatina/ES and Linhares/ES, affecting an estimated 424,000 people”.↗
Water had to be supplied by tanker to many people in some towns depending on water drawn from the Doce.↗In Colatina and other towns, there were squabbles over water distribution, where initially, during the first few weeks, mineral water had been distributed. Councillor Mario Pinto from Colatina spoke of, “queues for water, queues miles long, people fighting over water, actually fighting”. ↗
The mud and fish
A report by the Terra Brasis Resseguros reinsurance company estimated that 3.5 million inhabitants across the region were affected by the loss of water.↗ According to this report, approximately 3,000 fishermen can no longer work along the Doce and its estuary where it meets the sea.↗
Even upriver, the Doce’s aquatic life suffered incalculable damage, and since then artisanal fishing has been seriously affected.↗
The Watu is no longer the same
The mud also affected the Krenak indigenous people’s territories along the banks of the Doce. The Krenak live and work in an area of 4,900 hectares in Resplendor in the east of Minas Gerais, about 500 km from the state capital Belo Horizonte.↗
Samarco put up fencing along the river to prevent the Krenak approaching the contaminated water. Following protests, the barrier was removed.↗
The Doce, or the Watu as Indigenous Krenak call it, is no longer the same. The Watu as it was, is no longer. The life of the Krenak was once defined by the flow of the river’s waters. It was considered sacred and had purifying powers. They held their sacred rituals along its banks. Fishing, hunting, drinking the river`s water and using it for irrigation all stopped with the arrival of the mud. A way of life was wiped out from one minute to the next. No one goes near the river now. The seven Krenak villages were obliged to adapt and start buying from supermarkets in the town.↗
The Indigenous Tupiniquim and Guarani populations who live in the Caieiras Velhas II, Comboios and Tupiniquim territories in the municipality of Aracruz, Espirito Santo, were also affected. A ban on fishing and the destruction of fish stocks has threatened their food security.↗
Water from the Doce
… Is it sweet or bitter?
Not surprisingly, people are still doubtful of the quality of the water from the Doce
In Baixo Guandu for example, people depended on water from the Doce. The Serviço Autônomo de Água e Esgoto (SAAE) [independent water and drains service] in Baixo Guandu decided to check the water quality of the Doce shortly after the dam was breached. It detected the presence of metal particles such as lead, aluminium, iron, barium, copper, boron and mercury. “The situation can be summed up in two words: dead river”, said Luciano Magalhães, SAAE’s director. “It’s no longer any good for anything – not for irrigation or animals, much less human consumption. The scenario is as bad as it could be. The Doce is no more. It seems to contain the entire periodic table”.↗
Samarco denies this. In a report the company states “regarding the water quality of the Doce, findings generally demonstrated an increase in the amount of metals in the water just after the wave passed and for a short period after (a few days). Most of this increase was not directly related to the chemical composition of the tailings, which were mainly silicon, ferrous and aluminium oxide. This spike was due to the resuspension of pre-existing metals deposited on the river bed. Consequently, once the critical phase was past, the concentration returned to levels recorded before the Fundão dam burst”.↗
The communiqué concludes, “To summarise, it should be pointed out that current results indicate that the water quality is similar to samples taken in 2010 as published in report of 15/12/15 from the Serviço Geológico do Brasil [Brazilian geological service] (CPRM)”.↗
What do the people living along the Doce, who depended on the river’s waters, make of these assertions? Can the people who depend on the water by the river trust on these statements? How to trust the authorities that, since 2010, have not updated or qualified monitored the water quality for several years?↗
Clearly, there are conflicting opinions regarding water quality. Various entities at the federal and state levels should be monitoring the water quality of the Doce. ↗ However, given the State’s chronic negligence ↗ , various civil society and citizen-led scientific groups are carrying out their own analyses of the environmental impacts of the bursting of the Fundão dam on the waters of the Doce.↗
One of these citizen-led scientific groups is the Grupo Independente de Avaliação do Impacto Ambiental (GIAIA).↗
In its Relatório Parcial Expedição Rio Doce [interim report on the mission to the river Doce] the GIAIA group recorded, the existence of arsenic, manganese and lead above the limits permitted in resolution 357 of the Conselho Nacional do Meio Ambiente (Conama) [national environment council]. ↗
Since there are no legal standards for iron and aluminium, GIAIA made the following observation:
“Even though there are no comparable legal standards, iron (Fe) and aluminium (Al) are present in extremely high concentrations at all collection points affected by the tailings mud [...].These high levels could have medium- and long-term impacts, given that the bio-availability of these elements could increase or diminish with time (months, years or decades), consequently they should be checked periodically to monitor this process”. ↗
A study ↗ by the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) [Rio de Janeiro federal university], in cooperation with the Rio de Gente project and Greenpeace, noted that, in addition to the river, groundwater was also contaminated with high levels of heavy metals that harm plant development and enter the food chain, posing long-term health risks.↗
In July 2017, the Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo (UFES) [Espírito Santo federal university], published its report on the influence of the plume on the Doce following the bursting of the tailings dam in Mariana. ↗ Scientists noted that, “the bursting of the iron mining tailings dam caused impacts due to the increase in the concentrations of metals and metaloids primarily in the column of water and later in the surface sediments”↗, and that”, there was an impact on the zooplanktonic community caused by the mud from the dam once it reached the coastal area of the Doce. It modified the community’s structure with an immediate loss of diversity and an increase in the numbers of some species. A reduction in numbers was recorded following the impact, with changes to the diversity and composition of species, demonstrating that the impact persisted in the area with the possibility of long-term consequences for the ecosystem”. ↗
What and who to trust?
The water quality continues to cause concern for local communities ↗, particularly following the publication of various contradictory statements from the authorities.↗According to the Instituto Mineiro de Gestão das Águas (Igam) [water management mining institute], analyses show that water cannot be drunk directly ↗“from any of the rivers affected” ↗ nor can the rivers affected by the mud in Minas Gerais be used for animals or agriculture.↗ In Espírito Santo, more recent samples from April 2017 indicate that the quantity of metals dissolved in the water is practically the same as when the mud arrived in November 2015. The analysis of the university UFES claims, that the level of minerals in the waters of the Doce estuary remains high.↗
Water treated by water purification companies can be drunk, according to authorities quoted in the press.↗ But this water has been shunned by many inhabitants. People distrust its quality and prefer water from any source other than the river.↗
What and who to trust? “People have, in fact, no published water analysis reports at their hands that prove that this water is really any good”, said Bishop Joaquim Wladimir Lopes Dias of Colatina diocese in Espírito Santo. ↗
Samarco Mineração S.A. is a limited liability company, a joint venture owned equally by two shareholders: Anglo Australian company BHP Billiton Brasil Ltda. and Brazilian Vale S.A.↗Samarco produces iron ore pellets for export to the world’s iron and steel industries.↗
In 2013, the Fundão dam went through a revalidation process for its operating licence. According to a study of the Institute Prístino ordered by the Federal Prosecution Service (Ministério Público) of the state of Minas Gerais, there was a danger of the Fundão dam bursting.↗ The study spoke of the “possibility of destabilization [...] resulting in a collapse of the structure”. ↗ Nevertheless, the operating licence was issued by the Conselho Estadual de Política Ambiental (COPAM) ↗ [state environmental policy council] of Minas Gerais. So Brazilian human rights organisation Justiça Global concludes in its report “The Vale de Lama – Relatório de inspeção em Mariana após o rompimento da barragem de rejeitos do Fundão” [Valley of mud – inspection report in Mariana after the failure of the Fundão tailings dam], that “it can be stated that the company and the state of Minas Gerais were aware of the possibility of the dam bursting”.↗
According to a statement of the police officer Roger Lima de Moura of the Federal Police, the dam has had problems for years: “A sick dam, since the beginning of the construction. For the project up-grading material was used which was not recommended. For example instead of crushed stones and rocks, the drainage was built by the rest of fine ore.”↗ According to Roger Lima de Moura, the company had taken the risk by using the dam and expanding production, even though it was known to operate under inadequate conditions: “”There were also problems in monitoring, and with equipment that was not working properly.,”↗
Samarco strongly rejected any allegation that it had had any previous knowledge of risks of a possible breach of the Fundão dam.↗
The national dam security policy states that, under the law , inspection of the security of these structures is the responsibility of organizations and entities of the union, States, federal districts and local councils. Those responsible for licensing and inspection activities of the Samarco mine were the Instituto Nacional do Meio Ambiente (IBAMA)↗,[national environment institute] the Departamento Nacional de Produção Mineral (DNPM),↗[national mining department] and the Minas Gerais environmental organization the Fundação Estadual do Meio Ambiente (FEAM) ↗ [state environment foundation]. According to Professor Maria Galleno de Souza Oliveira’s analysis, “the federal and state public bodies were shirking their responsibilities by not clearly and transparently explaining what was done when they made their inspections. There was a 2014 report produced by the Agência Nacional de Águas (ANA) [national water agency], on the security of dams in Brazil that should, at least, have been taken into consideration by Parliament. According to this report [...] regarding risks, only 15% of dams were classified and recorded , which is a very small number when one considers that Brazil has 14,966 recorded dams.” ↗ Over the last four years, each dam liable for inspection received, on average, only one single inspection visit from the federal government. In Minas Gerais, there are only four officials inspecting the state’s dams.↗ The Tribunal de Contas da União (TCU) [union court of accounts] considered that the inspection of dams was “poor and deficient”.↗
Bruno Milanez concludes his analysis in the book ‘Desastre no Vale do Rio Doce: Antecedentes, impactos e ações sobre a destruição’↗ [Disaster in the Doce valley; causes, impact and action on the destruction]: “Regarding the factors that specifically led to the bursting of the Fundão dam, there was omission and negligence by the State in inspecting and licensing the undertaking, as well as various deficiencies in the company’s maintenance of the dam, including inadequacies in the emergency plan for the communities around the dam, as well as work to raise the dam beyond its permitted height”.↗
The bursting of the dam and further dangers of “licensing lite”
Even after the tragic experience of the bursting of the Fundão dam, the political landscape with regards to environmental policy and dam safety is worsening, rather than learning lessons from this disaster. In Parliament, politicians are speeding up the passage of laws and amendments to provide even more “flexibility” in the existing environmental licensing system, which is already being substantially weakened by the increasing use of the so-called Termo de Ajustamento de Conduta (TAC) [commitment to good behaviour] by Brazilian authorities.↗ In addition, a new Mining Code bill has been going through Parliament for years.↗ Since this code has not yet been fully approved by the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, the latest manoeuvre to expedite the projects of mining companies is to use provisional measures signed by the Executive↗, and to propose the creation of an Agência Nacional Reguladora da Mineração ↗ [national mining regulation agency], which would alter this important environmental situation through government policy. This initiative, contained in the bill for a new Lei Geral de Licenciamento,↗
[general licencing law] would create a new wave of “licensing lite”. “If this were put into practice, there would be an implicit danger of future desasters like Mariana”↗. As a result, it has been opposed by over 250 civil society organizations.↗
(In)Justice and impunity for crimes?
Shortly after the Mariana dam burst, Vale and BHP Billiton Brasil Ltda. initially argued that responsibility for technical and financial questions lay with Samarco, since this is a limited company [sociedade anônima] and consequently of limited liability, with a management team totally independent of its shareholders.↗
However, in November 2016 the Federal Court of Ponte Nova accepted the complaint against 4 companies (Samarco, Vale, BHP Billiton and VogBR) and 22 individuals for their responsibility for the bursting of the Fundão dam. ↗ Meanwhile in August, 2017 the criminal cases have been out on hold due to procedural errors and could be resumed after legal clarifications.↗ The lawyers of Samarco’s high officials successfully argued that “the data obtained with the precautionary measure of breach of telephone secrecy exceeded the period judicially authorized, and the conversations were analyzed by the Federal Police and used by the MPF in the preparation of the complaint.”↗
In March 2016 Samarco, Vale and BHP Billiton Brazil Ltda. signed an agreement with Brazilian authorities to “remediate and compensate for the impacts caused by the bursting of the dam”↗. This agreement was widely condemned by civil society.↗
In a public action of May 2016 the federal Ministério Público published an estimation of the damages of around R$ 155 billion and requested Samarco, Vale and BHP Billiton Brasil Ltda. to pay for the reparation of the damages. ↗
Thiago da Silva, a coordinator with the Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens (MAB) [movement of those affected by dams] in the mining town of Barra Longa, said that “the accident was a criminal tragedy, resulting from negligence on the part of the Brazilian state and the greed of the mining company”, the very signatories of the agreement. “Who is coordinating the process? The criminal mining company. There’s something wrong here. The families have the right to be involved in this. This is fundamental. Civil society has the right to run this process. The idea of an agreement is not fundamentally wrong. What we’re asking is: where are those affected?”↗
Agreements and court cases
The agreement signed on 2 March 2016 between Samarco, Vale and BHP Billiton Brasil Ltda.↗ and the Brazilian authorities was suspended in the courts in July 2016.↗ Despite this suspension, the agreement continues to be implemented by the companies and the federal government. Some civil society groups object that the people most directly affected are not being sufficiently involved in the process. For example, MAB has objected that the Fundação Renova [renewal foundation],, “is managing the entire reparations policy on the ground and has engaged countless technical advisors to implement its plans, involving numerous new, often unqualified, protagonists who are causing further violations of rights with regards to access to information and respect for the dignity of communities”.↗
With organizations like MAB, those affected are fighting agreements made without reference to the people involved. In January 2017, a new agreement was signed between Samarco and the Ministério Público Federal ↗and again suspended by the courts in late January 2017↗.
According to Guilherme Meneghin, from the Federal Prosecution Service of the State of Minas Gerais in the district of Mariana, fighting for compensation and justice, if you are one of those affected, is not easy in Brazil. He is heading nine civil public actions against Samarco, Vale and BHP Billiton Brasil Ltda. in Mariana. In the following interview, he explains what the Ministério Público is doing to guarantee the rights of those affected by the bursting of the dam.↗
Mariana is not an isolated case
The failure of Samarco’s Fundão dam is not an isolated case. The report of a working group of the UN states: “While the exact cause of the collapse of the Fundão dam is still unknown, such events should never occur. The incident underlines the importance of strict licensing rules, proper regulatory oversight and contingency plans. The Working Group is concerned that, with the large number of dams and mining sites in Minas Gerais, in particular, and the country, in general, there is limited capacity, at individual state and federal State levels, to conduct safety inspections in order to ensure that this tragedy will never be repeated.”↗ According to the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD), which has registered 58,000 dams across the world, mining dams burst 10 times more frequently than river dams ↗ There are three main ways of building tailing dams – ‘upstream’ (where each additional layer of the dam is laid on top of the previous dried layer), ‘centre’ (where the height is raised vertically on the dam itself) and ‘downstream’ (where the height of the dam is raised downstream, thus strengthening the structure). The cheapest method for mining companies is to build upstream dams but they also carry the greatest risk of bursting.↗
Mariana – an international case
Internationally, various reports and complaints were made to committees of the UN,↗ the Inter-American Commission of the OAS↗and others. International Human Rights bodies usually are limited to give recommendations to states on how to better protect against abuses by private companies. Even in the case the institutions find complaints to be justified, the impact of these proceedings is limited: it is not possible to file a suit for the recommendations or decisions by any international court or international executive. Grievance procedures are aimed at a dispute resolution rather than on final decisions. In this respect, the complaints do not provide a reliable tool for compensating the people affected. The political effect of such decisions can not be underestimated at all, since they concern the image of the government and how it presents its role to the public. its public self-presentation.
The UN protection system for human rights obliges contracting states to promote and guarantee the protection of human rights. In addition, the companies are not considered as “legal persons” [sujeitos de direito] under international human rights law and international treaties are only binding if states ratify them or incorporate the direct effect of international treaties into their national legislation. This means that ultimately the will of the individual states is decisive with regard to international agreements and their interpretation. Also, there are a number of internationally non-binding agreements, such as the UN Guidelines on Business and Human Rights or the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. As a so-called softlaw, they are not a binding law, but rather recommendations both to companies on their conduct, as well as to states to transpose these recommendations into national law and policies. Victims of human rights violations cannot derive any directly enforceable rights from these international standards. In a globalized economy, corporate structures and business relations become increasingly complex. Several states, as well as civil society organizations, are calling for international regulation by States to ensure that corporations conduct their operations without incurring human and environmental rights abuses. National state regulations are obviously unable to cope with the internationalization of the business world. Global challenges need an international response.The increasing liberalization of the financial markets and the growing transnationalization of production processes and corporate structures mean that state competences and functions of social and ecological regulation have little effect on the competition for “favorable investment or location conditions”. Since the early 1970s, there have been concerted efforts to develop binding international systems to regulate corporations for their human rights violations. In June 2014, the UN Human Rights Council passed the so-called Ecuador initiative, which established an open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) to develop a legally binding instrument on business and human rights. After many years of the dominance of voluntary frameworks and recommendations at the UN level, a process was launched to take specific legally-binding measures to deliver effective human rights protections to prevent and remedy corporate abuses.
The next session of the Open-Ended Working Group will be held in late October 2017 and the elements of the draft legally binding instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights have already been published↗. Civil society organizations will table various agenda proposals for discussion on the future of the binding treaty. For example, the UN treaty should define extraterritorial State-obligations as well as close the legal and practical gaps in the protection of human rights with regard to the activities of transnational corporations and other business.
These ambitions will certainly face many obstacles internationally, meaning that the UN proceedings will take several years before a treaty is finally approved. . However, it is an important step forward in the promotion and protection of human rights to establish a framework of legally-binding rules which will make transnational corporations and other business accountable.
Meanwhile those affected by dam bursts such as the Mariana case, need to maintain their protests. With the support of social movements, those affected are filing lawsuits and are organizing marches and protests in the streets.
One of these events took place a year after the Fundão dam burst. Around a thousand people from MAB, people affected, churches, church ministries and NGOs came together on the ruins of the Bento Rodrigues district school, demanding justice for the 19 who died and the thousands affected by the mud. They were calling for “Justice”!
“Mariana: Megaphone voices of affected people – fight corporate impunity”. A project by CIDSE, an alliance of international Catholic development organizations and their members
Text: Christian Russau (FDCL)
In conjunction with:
Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens (MAB) [movement of those affected by dams]
The PACS Institute – Políticas Alternativas para o Cone Sul [alternative policies for South America]
Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT) [Land ministry commission] #lamaquemata Project [mud that kills] Thomas Bauer (CPT) and Joka Madruga (Terra sem Males) [land without harm]
As at October 2017, most of the video interviews were made on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Fundão dam failure.