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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Brazilian Church officials: Dam break will affect area for years

The break in the Feijao dam complex in Brumadinho is being called a social-environmental crime instead of an accident by some members of the Catholic Church in Brazil. According to the religious who work with populations near dams and mining exploration areas, both the human and environmental costs of this tragedy will affect the area for dozens of years.

“Once again, profit is put above human lives and the environment,” Fr Antonio Claret Fernandes told CNS. Fr Fernandes is a member of the Movement of People Affected by Dams and vicar at the Sao Jose-Paula Candido parish.

Franciscan Br Rodrigo de Castro Amedee Peret agrees.

“It is a recurring event. This was not an accident, this was a crime,” said the brother, designated by the Brazilian bishops to head the Churches and Mining Network.

The network issued a statement on 26th January in support of those who lost their lives or are missing because of the dam collapse.

“We are in solidarity with the families of the victims and the communities of faith, who will have the hard challenge of rebuilding hope. We also join the Archdiocese of Belo Horizonte, which with the words of the Gospel defined the tragedy as ‘abomination of desolation,’ referring to the ‘absurdities born of the gains and contempt for the other, the truth and the good of all,'” read the network statement.

Picture: A view of the aftermath from a failed iron ore tailings dam in Brumadinho, Brazil Jan. 27, 2019. (CNS photo/Adriano Machado, Reuters).