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BRAZILIAN EXECUTIVES INDICTED FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES

01/19/2016

On January 13, 2016, Brazil’s police force charged the CEO of Samarco, Ricardo Vescovi De Aragao, with causing Brazil’s largest environmental disaster in violation of the nation's Environmental Crimes Law. On November 5, 2015, a Samarco dam burst, which caused an avalanche of 2.2 billion cubic feet of waste and mud. Both the Samarco and Vale mining companies were indicted, in addition to VogBR Recursos Hidricos e Geotecnica, the company responsible for declaring that the dam was stable earlier in 2015. The dam's monitoring coordinator, the dam manager, the geotechnical manager, and the operations general manger were also charged, among others. Article 54 of the Brazilian Environmental Crimes Law criminalizes “making areas unfit for human habitation, pollution of the water that supplies communities and hinder or prevent the public use of beaches.” The mining company challenged the decision, explaining that there is not yet a technical expert conclusion with regard to what caused the accident. For the full story, see http://news.mongabay.com/2016/01/mining-company-executives-indicted-in-brazil-over-the-countrys-largest-environmental-disaster/