Faviana Alves is a Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Brasil.
Greenpeace has joined the #UmMinutoDeSirene collective to mark the six months passed since the tragedy that killed 19 people, an entire river, and also left a trail of destruction from the state of Minas Gerais to the beaches of Espírito Santo in Brazil.
Exactly six months have passed since Brazil’s worst-ever environmental tragedy: the Samarco mine tailings dam burst on November 5th, 2015 in the town of Mariana. Families, animals, houses, entire cities and even the Doce River were devastated by the flow of toxic waste that swept for more than 600 km, from the inner state of Minas Gerais to the Atlantic Ocean coast in the state of Espírito Santo.
Since then, the #UmMinutoDeSirene collective has held a symbolic protest on the 5th of each month: they sound an alarm siren in Mariana – the one that never rang on the day of the accident to alert the local population – so that no one forgets the crime that took place there.
Samarco, a joint venture between Brazil’s Vale and Anglo-Australian mining company BHP Billiton, is responsible for the silence at the time of the incident. In fact, people’s voices replaced the sirens as they warned each other about what was happening.
The sound is a reminder that the Doce River area has been suffering from six months of social and economic consequences from Samarco’s dam burst. After all this time, very little has been done to compensate local communities and peoples for their losses.
We have developed a special website to let us SOUND THE SIREN for the all the affected people, for the buried cities and for the Doce River, which no longer breathes. You will find information about all the activities developed by the organization since the accident, as well as independent research projects that are supported by Greenpeace and Rio de Gente and were selected to receive donated resources.
Join the movement and remind everyone that the consequences of the accident are still impacting thousands of people. Visit the website, sound the siren and leave your message!