A judge from the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais on Tuesday condemned the mining giant Vale to pay for all the damage caused by the collapse last January of one of its waste dams, which left at least 247 dead and 23 missing, as well as hundreds of hectares destroyed.
The sentence was handed down by Judge Elton Pupo Nogueira, head of the sixth Public Finance Court of Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais, and initially does not define the value of the compensation that the world's largest iron producer and exporter will have to pay, informed judicial sources.
The judge clarified that the value of the damages is still being assessed and, to guarantee the payment of compensation, confirmed the provisional embargo on Vale's bank accounts of 11,000 million reais (about 2,894.7 million dollars) that had been ordered by Justice since January.
According to the judge, the value of the compensation is not limited to reparation for the deaths caused by the tragedy but also to the repair of all environmental damage in the region and the cessation of economic activities of the inhabitants of the areas affected by the spill.
Vale's lawyers, in one of their interventions in the process, guaranteed that the largest mining company in Latin America is carrying out an extensive study to evaluate the impacts of the disaster and that it will compensate the families of all the victims.
It is the first sentence imposed by the Justice for the tragedy caused by the rupture of one of the dams in which the mining company stored waste in the Córrego de Feijao mine, located in Brumadinho, a small municipality of Minas Gerais.
The dam broke on January 25 and caused a tragedy that counted 270 victims among the dead and disappeared, mostly employees of the mine.
The videos of the tragedy show the moment in which the dam collapses and a sea of mud, composed of 13 million cubic meters of waste, devastates in a matter of seconds adjacent homes and part of Vale's facilities.
Despite condemning the company for its responsibility in the tragedy, the judge denied the Prosecutor's request for the company to be forced to suspend all operations in the affected region on the grounds that no evidence was presented that the the mining company violated legal or administrative regulations.
(tagsToTranslate) Condemn (t) Brazilian (t) Vale (t) tragedy (t) dead