MAC/20: Mines and Communities

BRAZIL

Published by MAC on 2007-03-08

BRAZIL

Protesters interrupt operations at CVRD mine in Brazil

Xinhuanet

8th March 2007

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's landless farmers blocked access to a mine run by the country's mining giant Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) on Wednesday, protesting the impact of big companies on the poor.

The rally was part of a series of protests taking place throughout Brazil prior to Bush's visit on Thursday.

Protesters took over the road leading to the Capao Xavier mine early Wednesday in the state of Minas Gerais, preventing the production of 12,000 tons of iron ore, local media said.

Officials from the Agrarian Reform Department asked the protesters to move to the Mineirao stadium, in Belo Horizonte, where some non-governmental organizations were gathering to protest.

The protesters left at 10:30 a.m. local time and the mine resumed operation.

CVRD said the protest was not justified as it has invested 300 million reals (142.2 million U.S. dollars) in social and environmental projects in 2006 and expects to invest 4.6 billion U.S. dollars and employ 43,000 people in Brazil this year.

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