Brumadinho: affected criticize lack of

The governor of Minas Gerais, Romeu Zema (Novo), announced this week that a public consultation will be opened for citizens to give their opinion on the destination of the funds for the agreement with Vale regarding the rupture of the dam in Brumadinho. The mining company will have to allocate R$ 27 billion to works, education, health and repair projects in the state. However, only R$ 3.4 billion will be approved by the population.

The popular consultation takes place from November 5th to 12th in cities affected by the dam failure, totaling 26 municipalities. Citizens who receive emergency payment from Vale and voters registered with the Federal Court can vote. Voting will be carried out through the MG App and the Citizen’s Portal.

Choosing themes and sub-themes does not guarantee choice of projects

Contrary to what it seems, the population will not be able to decide, in the end, which proposals will be applied in their city. More than 3,000 projects were sent to the government of Minas Gerais, but will not be put to the vote. The affected person will be able to choose the theme and sub-theme of importance for their city, such as “Environment” and “Soil” sub-theme. However, it will not choose the project that will be applied in the area.

“Contrary to what it seems, the population will not be able to decide which proposals will be applied in their city”, explains Ísis Táboas, general coordinator of the Brumadinho project at the State Association for Environmental and Social Defense (Aedas), one of the technical advisors who work with those affected. “Who will choose the project? Participation ends up being indirect. It is not the population that will choose”, he analyses.

Aedas itself sent more than 500 projects built together with those affected, but which cannot be voted on by the population.

Another problem raised by Isis is the lack of internet in the affected communities. According to her, the technical advisors sent the government of Minas a list with the need for internet support points, but they are waiting for an answer. In the coming weeks, the press offices continue to carry out conversation circles with those affected on the subject.

Affected people requested participation from the beginning

José Geraldo Martins, from the state coordination of the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), recalls that from the very beginning those affected claimed to participate in the construction of the agreement, which took place between the Government of Minas Gerais, Justice Institutions and Vale.

“As much as we tried with struggle and in court, the governor was inflexible and did not allow at any time the participation of those affected in the agreement. And now comes this public consultation”, he criticizes. “This is a consultation that won’t listen to those who really need to participate”, he adds.

61% of miners considered the agreement fair or bad

Federal Deputy Áurea Carolina (PSOL) recalled on her Twitter that the opening of the public consultation was announced 12 days after the result of a survey that showed the dissatisfaction of the population of Minas Gerais with the agreement with Vale. The research carried out by the newspaper The time pointed out that 31% of respondents rated the agreement with Vale as bad or very bad, 30% considered the agreement to be regular and only 29.7% thought it was good or very good.

The approval rating was considered low, given the expectation and propaganda of the Minas Gerais government about the supposed success of the “million-dollar agreement” with the mining company.

affected municipalities

The popular consultation will be carried out on the projects of annexes 1.3 and 1.4 of the agreement, and is foreseen in the term signed by the government, Vale and Justice Institutions in February 2021.

The 26 municipalities considered affected and that will have voting are: Abaeté, Betim, Biquinhas, Brumadinho, Caetanópolis, Curvelo, Esmeraldas, Felixlândia, Florestal, Fortuna de Minas, Igarapé, Juatuba, Maravilhas, Mário Campos, Mateus Leme, Morada Novas de Minas, Paineiras, Parrots, Pará de Minas, Paraopeba, Pequi, Pompéu, São Gonçalo do Abaeté, São Joaquim de Bicas, São José da Varginha and Três Marias.

The Government of Minas was contacted by the report to provide information on the criticisms raised, but there was no response as of this writing.

Source: BoF Minas Gerais

Edition: Larissa Costa

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