Explaining Brazil #140: The Brazilian people v. big mining

Mining giants have been let off scot-free from the consequences of environmental disasters. Brazilians are going after them on their own turf

In recent years, major mining companies operating in Brazil have made international headlines due to the sheer amount of damage they have caused to the environment and to thousands of people. 

But the wheels of Brazilian justice turn slowly. 

States’ economic dependence on mining operations and the proximity of these companies with regulators often allow them to escape such crises almost completely unscathed. Victims of these catastrophes are now seeking justice in multiple class-action lawsuits in European courts, pushing for harsher and quicker penalties against polluting mining firms. 

If profits are global, why shouldn’t accountability be as well?

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On this episode:

  • Pedro Martins holds master’s degrees in Law from the Insper Institute for Education and Research and King’s College London. He represented 200,000 individual plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against BHP for its responsibility in the 2015 Mariana dam disaster.

Background reading:

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