Vale Mining Catastrophe in Brazil Worse Than Its Predecessor

Jan. 31, 2019, 1:48 PM

Joao Vitor Xavier was afraid history was going to repeat itself. But he didn’t expect it to happen when it did.

A legislator in Brazil’s mineral-rich Minas Gerais state, Xavier was on vacation on Jan. 25, having lunch with Duarte Goncalves Junior, the mayor of a town called Mariana. In November 2015, Mariana was the town most devastated by the collapse of a so-called upstream dam, which holds back oceans of muddy waste produced by mines. Nineteen people were killed, and one entire neighborhood was wiped out.

At dinner with the mayor the night before, he had rehashed his failed ...

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