For more on the Mariana Dam Disaster and its links to Aberfan, see our recent article in New Internationalist

To commemorate the 8th anniversary of the Mariana disaster (read our 2017 report The River is Dead for more information) we have hosted Leticia Oliveira and Paula Goes, from the Brazilian organisation MAB Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens – Movement of People Affected by Dams.

Photo: Annaís Berlim

Yesterday 5 November 2023, we gathered to watch Herança Maldita, an incredible documentary by Tomas Amaral. The event was organised with Brazil Matters, Cine Brazil, Amazonia Alerta, and MAB. A large audience including the Brazilian diaspora in London attended the event. After the film, we saw video contributions of people in Brazil, including Anderson Krenak (Langu) from the Krenak people – he made clear the Krenak demand of being able to fish from the river again. This call echoes the film’s messages, where rural communities remember the possibility of living in tranquillity and autonomy on their lands, which are now polluted. BHP, clean the river, clean the land! That is the real compensation that people demand. Mauro Silva and Monica Santos from Bento Rodriguez reminded us that for them, every day that passes without accountability feels as if the dam has broken again.

In Brazil, the day was marked by demonstrations organised by MAB in Brasilia. Their demands were justice for the people in Mariana and a national framework for a law guaranteeing rights for those affected by dams.

Today, we are visiting Aberfan in Wales, a community that knows all too well the consequences of mining waste, and what happens when it spills across their village and lives. Please read this LMN article in the New Internationalist to know more.