Stop the train of vale !!
Friday, August 24, 2012
The missionary that brakes the trains
Trains with 400 wagons carrying the iron and steel industries and mines to the port of Sao Luis, capital of the Brazilian State of Maranhão. To export it to the world. Cross this State located in the northeast of the country, where people live from agriculture and pasture, passing next to the Amazon rain forest. Every day, they spend about 25. With the doubling of the track requested by Vale, the Brazilian mining group among the largest producers and exporters of iron in the world, the account is easy.
The story is of Sara Magnoli, published in the newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano, 8/22/2012. The translation is by Moses Sbardelotto.
But the work suffered an outage. An interruption of the works ordered by the Brazilian federal judge Ricardo Felipe Rodrigues Maciera, which hosted in first instance the objections made by the justice in Rails, a network of charitable associations linked to the Catholic Church and the movements of protection of the environment and of health, supported by a group of lawyers. Intended to defend the rights of a territory which brings together 100 communities, 27 municipalities and two million people.
Born in 2007 at the initiative of the Comboni Missionaries of Açailândia, municipality in the State of Maranhão, on the border with the State of Pará, the network has developed a lot. “The most beautiful – explains the priest Dario Bossi, Italian Comboni Missionary who lives in Brazil five years ago and that is part of the network – is that, despite the duplication project be defended by a multinational railway with the support of the Government, social movements did not remain spineless, but organized, managing to put the ‘ Canes between the wheels ‘ of a development that in our view, it is only supposed to, because it is a minority “economic enrichment.
Thirty years ago, in the region, were installed these projects of iron production for the world market, “whose economic impact – still the father Dario – is in favour of a minority of shareholders and directors of the company, but is irrelevant to local communities”. A specification to clarify the action of Justice in Rails certainly don’t want to affect the opportunities of employment and community development.
The question that the network did well was to understand if those 28 billion dollars invested in the doubling of the railway, the opening of new mines and port improvements are effectively “the best for the people”, part of which could be offered a job at most temporary.
“Who is in the middle between the mines and the port, that is, all inhabited centres, small cores that are already crossed by railroad and that would be affected by duplication, are considered as interference,” adds father Dario. “And that makes you think”.
Especially because, according to the network, the environmental problem and the protection of health is much greater. “The Vale – explains the priest Dario – showed these works not as a great investment, but rather as an improvement of the existing structures. For us, it is a nonsense: built a second system next to the first, and this requires a certain quality of environmental studies, a full, in-depth study that is missing, having been presented only a basic study. In the case of an environmental impact study, there is the obligation of public hearings in all municipalities in some way impacted by the work. What is not provided for in the case of abbreviated license. Our greatest criticism is this: the license obtained for work next to the Brazilian Institute for the environment based on a basic plan, presented in only four informational meetings “. On a population that spreads by 900 kilometers.
In all of this is based on the public civil action which determined the interruption. Even though some days it is expected the second instance that could unlock all over again, waiting for the final verdict.
“At least one person per month is run over by trains, which do not have security, aside from the fact that trains so long, to whose passing by the villages are needed many minutes, causing a very high vibration and acoustic pollution depleting wells and walls of houses, that are simple, poor dwellings”, says missionary.
Replication works already carried out in four segments before the suspension would already be starting to harm the water courses. “If the second instance also give us reason – concludes the padre Dario – there will be an obligation of a new environmental study, and our work will be to help the communities to present his point of view, their demands. Otherwise, we will continue monitoring the impact of the work, documenting what they are causing “.