Little more than three years separate Brazil’s two worst environmental disasters. In 2015, a dam collapse in Mariana killed 19 people, wiped entire towns off the map, and left environmental impacts so great that its consequences are still being felt by neighboring areas. Then, on January 25, 2019, another dam collapsed — just 90 kilometers away from the first. This time, at least 134 people were killed (and 199 remain missing). If the Mariana disaster didn’t leave any lessons for Vale —the owner of both failed dams—Brazilians expect that to change.
People are calling for harsher punishments on the company and especially its board members. For 65.7 percent of Brazilians, Vale—the world’s largest nickel and iron ore producer—should lose its operational license.