August 3, 2021

Prosecutor closes agreement for compensation for environmental disaster in Brazil

Prosecutor closes agreement for compensation for environmental disaster in Brazil

The Brazilian Prosecutor's Office reached an agreement with mining companies Samarco, Vale and BHP for the payment of compensation to those affected by the country's biggest environmental disaster, which left 19 dead in 2015, official sources reported today.

Almost three years ago, one of the barriers of the mining company Samarco -controlled by Vale and BHP- in the city of Mariana, in the state of Minas Gerais, broke and a wave of lama destroyed fauna, flora and buildings along 650 kilometers, and left 19 dead, in addition to thousands of families unsheltered in what is considered the biggest environmental disaster in Brazil.

The agreement, which concludes a civil proceeding, was signed by the Attorney General and the Renova Foundation, which has representatives from Samarco, its two controllers and the public sector and aims to repair the region's environmental damage and compensate financially financing those affected.

Part of the compensation will be paid through a fund composed of 300 million reais (77 million dollars) that were blocked from the Samarco account by the Justice, although the total value will be higher.

The companies must negotiate individually with each family and it is expected that at least 3,000 people living in the Mariana region, the main affected by the disaster, will be compensated.

Victims must fill out a form and report the damage caused by the catastrophe, which will be used as a basis to calculate compensation.

Once the forms have been submitted, the Renova Foundation will have a period of three months to submit their compensation proposals and the negotiations must be concluded within a maximum period of one year.

"The affected party who does not feel contemplated by the proposals for compensation of companies may enter with a request for 'settlement and compliance with judgment', seeking to prove the value that is fair," the Prosecutor said.

The prosecutor Guilherme Meneghin, quoted in the note, also stressed that the conclusion of the agreement does not "mean the completion of the work" of the Public Ministry, which "will continue to accompany and assist those affected until the full compliance of all decisions made and agreements formulated in the processes ".


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