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Brazil's MST attacks Vale - Protestas contra Vale

Published by MAC on 2008-03-10


Brazil's MST attacks Vale - Protestas contra Vale

10th March 2008

Last week, militants from Brazil's Landless Rurual Workers Movement (MST) invaded the administrative offices of Monte Libano Farm, where Vale, the world's biggest iron ore company, has planted trees used for the production of charcoal. Protesters claimed that 200 families were being affected by fumes constantly emitted by the charcoal furnaces.

For many years, Vale's use of charcoal to purify pig iron has been condemned in Brazil and elsewhere, apparently to little effect.


Brazilian landless workers vandalize iron plant of mining giant Vale

The Associated Press

8th March 2008

RIO DE JANEIRO: Protesters from the Landless Rural Workers Movement invaded a pig iron plant in northeastern Brazil belonging to Brazilian mining giant Vale, the company said Saturday. Vale, the world's second-largest mining company, * [see editorial note] said on its Web site that the protesters vandalized buildings and machinery at the Monte Libano charcoal ranch in an "extremely violent" morning raid in the northeastern city of Acailandia.

The movement, known by its Portuguese-language initials as MST, claimed the invasion was linked to Saturday's commemoration of International Women's Day, Vale said. The MST did not answer repeated calls to its headquarters in Rio de Janeiro or in Brasilia, the capital, and the link between the invasion and Women's Day was not immediately clear. In the past, the group has used the date to protest about women's[low] status in Brazilian society.

The Globo TV network, Brazil's largest, said the protesters demanded the closing of 71 charcoal furnaces near an MST settlement. Vale said the protesters threatened plant workers and blocked the major Belem-Brasilia highway near the plant with tires and tree trunks. Police were called to assess the damage and protect Vale facilities.

In November, some 300 MST protesters blockaded a key iron-ore export railway belonging to Vale in the Carajas mining complex in the northern state of Para. The protesters said they wanted to pressure Vale into funding social programs and giving them a say in corporate decision-making.

It was the third time that the protesters had shut down the railway, which supplies Atlantic ports for shipment overseas.

Vale, formerly known as Companhia Vale do Rio Doce SA, or CVRD, is the world's No. 1 exporter of iron ore. It became the world's second-largest mining company in 2006, smaller only than Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton Ltd. *


* Vale is in fact the world's fourth biggest mining company by market capitlisation


Vale Says Peasants Destroyed Offices of Its Reforestation Unit

By Romina Nicaretta

March 8 (Bloomberg) -- Cia. Vale do Rio Doce SA, the world's biggest iron-ore producer, said a group of peasants invaded and destroyed offices of its reforestation unit in the Brazilian northern state of Maranhao.

Militants from Movimento dos Tralhadores Sem Terra invaded today the administrative offices of Monte Libano Farm, where Vale plants trees used in the production of charcoal, the Rio de Janeiro-based company said in an e-mail today. No one has been hurt, said Cica Guedes, a spokeswoman for Vale.

Vale has called for police reinforcements to prevent further attacks to its properties, the statement said. The group has threatened to invade a nearby reforestation-research unit, the company said.

Vale said the invasion was to commemorate Women's International Day. Simone Silva, a spokeswoman for the militant group, known for its acronym MST, didn't return a telephone call from Bloomberg News seeking comment. MST translates to Landless Workers Movement.

Members of MST, an international group made up of rural workers, have taken destructive actions against other international companies before today.

Yesterday, 300 peasant militants of Via Campesina, an arm of MST, invaded Monsanto Co.'s seed-research unit in southern Brazil and destroyed a greenhouse and a testing field for genetically modified corn, the group said in an e-mailed statement. About 900 women from Via Campesina destroyed four hectares (10 acres) of industrial eucalyptus plantations cultivated by Finland's Stora Enso Oyj in Rio Grande do Sul state, near the Uruguay border, on March 4. Via Campesina claimed Stora Enso's site was illegal because of its proximity to the border, the Landless Workers said in a statement.


Brazil peasant protest halts miner Vale's railroad

Reuters

10th March 2008

SAO PAULO - Hundreds of Brazilian peasant farmers blocked a railroad operated by mining giant Vale on Monday, carrying on a wave of protests that started across Brazil last week. "The railway has been halted, we've ceased transporting 2,500 passengers a day and 300,000 tonnes of ore," Vale, the world's biggest exporter of iron ore, said in a statement.

The blockage on the Vitoria-Minas railroad is in the central state of Minas Gerais.

The iron ore is shipped to Tubarao port and then loaded onto ships for export. Vale said the port had stocks but it was not clear how long they would last if the protests continued.

The Via Campesina group was protesting against the construction by Vale and its partner of a dam in the area known as Aimores that would flood an area the size of 2,000 soccer fields.

Last October, the leftist Landless Peasants Movement, or MST, and its ally Via Campesina blocked Vale's other railroad in Carajas for two days, briefly leaving a pellets plant without raw materials.

On Saturday, on International Women's Day, MST activists invaded a Vale-owned forestry and charcoal unit near the company's pelletizing plant in Carajas -- the Amazon area where Vale's biggest iron ore mine is located.

Vale called the invasion "a criminal act of extreme violence", saying the protesters damaged buildings and equipment and threatened workers. It said the peasants made social and economic demands "that have no relation to Vale" and should be resolved by the federal and state governments.

On Friday, about 300 Brazilian women activists from the Via Campesina group raided a research unit of U.S. agricultural biotech company Monsanto, destroying a tree nursery and an experimental field of genetically modified corn.

Earlier last week, a group of 900 women briefly raided a eucalyptus plantation owned by European paper maker Stora Enso, felling trees and destroying saplings before they were kicked out by the military and police.

The protests are aimed against multinational companies to draw attention to the need for land reform in Brazil, where most land is concentrated in the hands of a few big landowners.

(Reporting by Alberto Alerigi and Andrei Khalip)


Campesinas ocupan hacienda de gigante minero Vale do Río Doce

Terra Actualidad - EFE

8 de marzo, 2008

Manifestantes del Movimiento de Trabajadores sin Tierra (MST) ocuparon hoy una hacienda dedicada a la producción de carbón vegetal de la minera Vale do Río Dice, en una nueva protesta vinculada al Día Internacional de la Mujer.

El grupo de unas 1.000 mujeres invadió las instalaciones de la hacienda Monte Libano, en Acailandia, interior del amazónico estado de Pará (norte), que forma parte de un complejo de producción de arrabio de la empresa, según informaron Vale y el propio MST.

La minera afirmó que la ocupación fue un acto de 'extrema violencia' en el que fueron dañadas instalaciones y equipos de la empresa. El tránsito en la carretera que une a Belén, la capital de Pará, con la capital federal Brasilia fue interrumpido con la quema de neumáticos y troncos de árboles, según la empresa.

El MST de Maranhao dijo que las protestas se inscriben en la 'Jornada nacional de las mujeres campesinas por el Día Internacional de la Mujer.

Esta semana militantes de Vía Campesina y del MST también atacaron una hacienda de eucaliptos de la papelera Stora Enso, en el estado de Río Grande do Sul y un cultivo de maíz transgénico de la trasnacional Monsanto en el estado de Sao Paulo, entre otros eventos.

En el caso de Vale, las manifestantes alegan que la carbonería afecta a una comunidad de 200 familias campesinas y el humo de la quema de madera provoca enfermedades respiratorias y de visión, especialmente en niños. Según Vale, la propiedad produce 45.000 toneladas de carbón por año y cuenta con instalaciones de equipos que reducen las emisiones de humo.


Grupo ligado ao MST invade e depreda propriedade da Vale no MA

Agência Folha

9 de março de 2008

http://www1.folha.uol.com.br

A Vale do Rio Doce informou que manifestantes ligados ao MST (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra) invadiram e depredaram uma unidade da empresa, no interior do Maranhão, como forma de lembrar o Dia Internacional da Mulher, neste sábado.

A ação, confirmada pela Polícia Militar local, ocorreu na fazenda Monte Líbano, de produção de carvão vegetal, em Açailândia (521 km de São Luís).

Os invasores também bloquearam um trecho da BR-010, a Belém-Brasília, que passa pela região. Segundo a Polícia Militar, um motorista que tentou furar o bloqueio foi agredido. Um carro também foi depredado, de acordo com a polícia.

Os manifestantes deixaram a estrada e a fazenda ainda pela manhã, mas ameaçam voltar e invadir também um centro de pesquisas, segundo a Vale. De acordo com a empresa, 150 pessoas participaram da invasão. Peritos foram ao local para avaliar os danos à unidade.

Procurada pela Folha, a direção nacional do MST disse que ainda não tinha conhecimento da ação. A direção do movimento no Maranhão não foi encontrada para falar sobre o caso. A Vale classificou o ato como "criminoso" e diz que as ações podem "pôr abaixo mais de 20 anos de pesquisas desenvolvidas".

Para a empresa, as reivindicações dos manifestantes não têm nenhuma relação com os negócios da companhia. A Vale também informou que a Justiça de Açailândia concedeu uma liminar para a reintegração de posse da fazenda.

 

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