Brazil: Joint letter by civil society groups to companies linked to the activities of Vale

Author: 86 NGOs from across the world, including, Accion Ecologica, Articulação Internacional dos Atingidos pela Vale, Friends of the Earth Germany, Center for Constitutional Rights, Center for International Environmental Law, Centro de Ecología y Pueblos Andinos, Conectas, Confederación Campesina del Perú, ContraMINAcción, Rede contra a Minaría Destrutiva na Galiza, CORE Coalition, Democracy Center, DITSHWANELO - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights, Dreikönigsaktion Hilfswerk der Katholischen Jungschar, Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF), ESCR-Net - International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Ethical Shareholders Germany, FIAN Germany, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Justiça Global, Justiça nos Trilhos, London Mining Network, Published on: 8 April 2019

"Joint Letter by Civil Society Groups to Companies Linked to the Activities of Vale S.A”, 21 February, 2019

...Letter addressed to: Allianz...BNP Paribas...Crédit Agricole...Deutsche Bank...DZ Bank...HSBC...ING...Tüv Süd AG...According to publicly available information, your company is or has been directly or indirectly linked to the activities of Vale...The...organizations express their deepest concerns about the events that occurred on January 25 after the breakdown of the tailings dam I of the Córrego do Feijão mine in Brumadinho. We call upon companies directly or indirectly linked to Vale...activities to take actions towards ensuring that Vale...provides reparation to the victims and guarantees of non-repetition. Vale...currently has 168 dams throughout the Brazilian territory,[1]among which 1 out of 3 present a high "potential associated damage"equivalent to the Mariana and Brumadinho dams...In December 2018, the expansion of the activities of the Paraopeba complex, which includes the Corrego do Feijão mine where the tailings dam is located, was authorized in an express procedure and underestimated the potential damage of the dam...At the meeting in which the granting of the environmental license was approved civil society members and a representative of the federal environmental agency, the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources(IBAMA), alerted about the dangers linked to the tailings dam...The International Articulation of People Affected by Vale has been denouncing the danger of reducing operational costs and expenses in Vale's operations at the company's shareholder meetings, arguing the company was expanding the risks of incidents such as the one that occurred in Mariana in November 2015 and now in Brumadinho. Vale ...did not take the necessary preventive measures to resolve the growing risk of rupture…[T]he people affected by the breakdown of the Fundão dam, owned by Samarco, a joint-venture between Vale and BHP Billiton, continue without fair compensation and the companies involved remain unpunished...The negligence of Vale..., not only engages its own responsibility, but also the responsibility of its business partners. By virtue of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and in some cases of binding national and regional legislation...,... companies bear a duty of due diligence, in order to identify, prevent, mitigate and respond to the negative consequences of their activities on human rights and the environment…          

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