Search for missing bodies to resume in Brumadinho

Destruction caused by spilled tailings from the Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine in January 2019. (Image courtesy of Felipe Werneck | Ibama.)

The Fire Brigade of Minas Gerais announced it will resume on August 27th the search for still missing bodies of 11 victims of the dam collapse in Brumadinho last year, which killed 270 people.

Work was halted on March 21 due to pandemic protocols. The resumed operation will include 60 military personnel, who will continue to search the perimeter of the site of the disaster.

Vale reported last month that a court decision had suspended 7.9 billion reais ($1.5 billion) in legal deposits that had been required to ensure the enforcement of any potential fine or forfeiture of assets, rights and values related to the disaster.

In May, a judge in the state of Minas Gerais ordered Vale to present guarantees, but another court decision suspended that ruling in June.

Also in May, the city of Brumadinho suspended Vale’s operating license after health agents said that the company’s onsite activities had “not respected the rules of social isolation.”

A Minas Gerais state court in Brazil later revoked the decree after the company argued that the suspension was issued to avoid the spread of the new coronavirus, but had the main purpose of serving as retaliation for non-payment of emergency aid to the entire population of the city.