The Ongoing Danger of Large-Scale Mining on the Rio Doce: An Account of Brazil’s Largest Biocultural Disaster

  • Haruf Salmen EspindolaEmail author
  • Cláudio Bueno Guerra
Part of the Ecology and Ethics book series (ECET, volume 3)


Bento Rodrigues was a community with a deep sense of belonging. On November 5, 2015, its people had to watch their houses, stories, and ways of life destroyed in a matter of minutes after the fatal rupture of the Samarco/Vale/BHP tailings dam. Almost a year later, September 24, 2016, people said a last good-bye to the place during the feast of Our Lady of Mercy among its ruins. Bento Rodrigues would be covered by water after the construction of the S4 dike, to block the tailings still coming down from the Fundão dam.


Biocultural ethics Biocultural homogenization Governance Socio-environmental justice River 



This work was supported by undergraduate students from Univale, Iesmy Elisa Gomes Mifarreg (Law) and Natália Moreira Ferreira (Civil Engineering), from the scientific initiation program. We are grateful for the close reading and extensive editing of Irene J. Klaver and Brian C. O’Connor.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haruf Salmen Espindola
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cláudio Bueno Guerra
    • 2
  1. 1.Postgraduate Program in Integrated Territory ManagementUniversidade Vale do Rio DoceGovernador ValadaresBrazil
  2. 2.Autonomous Environmental ConsultantBelo HorizonteBrazil

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