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Disaster Capitalism in Brazil: Mining Greed Produces a Horrific Death Toll

Disaster Capitalism in Brazil: Mining Greed Produces a Horrific Death Toll

Vijay Prashad

On January 25, 2019, a dam burst in the town of Brumadinho, north of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The dam was built by the iron-ore company Vale to store residue after the iron ore had been extracted. Once the dam began to crumble, it did not take long for its 13 million cubic meters of iron waste to sweep down onto the workers and into their town.

Approximately 300 people have been killed in this disaster. Many more have been injured. Within four hours of the breach, the sludge had swept down into the Paraopeba River, threatening to pollute the entire region’s water.


But Steven Pinker says we’re making progress.

As for this example of disaster capitalism, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet…


And to prove that it is all about capitalism, read this article about how all Vale is worrying about right now is being unable to fill its iron ore orders…

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If the fracking well intersects a gold mine will there be arsenic in the resulting gasoline?

Why is it that open mines become sources of arsenic?
Can some please explain?
The runoff from the mines under the ski slopes in the vail valley are all toxic- the runoff from them contains high levels of arsenic - , and the mines must be sealed permanently before any new development can go on the slopes.

“The large corporations have declared a war against the planet, their machinery digging deeper and deeper to make mountains of profit for the few as many millions of people perish into starvation and disorientation.”

They could have prevented this.

They knew in advance that the dam was vulnerable, just like BP oil workers in the Gulf knew that shortcuts were being taken to save the profiteers money…human life and the environment be dammed!

Heartless devastation.

We see it time and time again.

I can only hope that workers of these sorts of places will seek out the media and report their findings BEFORE these disasters happen in the future from now on so that they may be taken seriously and measures be taken to PREVENT these catastrophes.

You might think “But they won’t want to speak up for fear of losing their job!”

They can remain anonymous. Besides. What’s the alternative? When the disaster occurs they will be out of a job anyways, if not killed in the event. Think of all the lives that could be saved. That person would be a hero.

And finally, think of all the environment that would not be drowned in toxins.
People in these surrounding areas drink this water (as do wildlife)…they have no choice.