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Brazil Dam Burst: Samarco Broke 'Several Laws' and Will Be Fined, Says Rousseff

11/13/2015 - 09h15

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THIAGO AMÂNCIO
FROM SÃO PAULO

President Dilma Rousseff confirmed last Thursday (12) that mining company Samarco will be fined US$ 66.3 million (R$ 250 million) for damages caused by dam burst in Mariana (MG).

The company controlled by Brazil's Vale and Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton broke several laws, said the President without giving details. The government may seek compensation for damages and reimbursement for reconstruction expenses.

"We are determined to hold responsible those who are responsible for this. Who is responsible? A private company, Samarco, a big company that has as partners Vale and BHP Billiton," said Rousseff in Governador Valadares (MG) alongside Governors Fernando Pimentel (Minas Gerais) and Paulo Hartung (Espírito Santo).

According to the President, that is the preliminary value of the fine.

"Companies must be held responsible for several things. Firstly, for the population's emergency care needs. Secondly, for searching for more stable and perennial solutions. And, thirdly, for the reconstruction and the ability to solve the problems of those affected by this disaster," Rousseff said.

Seven days after the tragedy, Rousseff flew over the area. At least 600 people were displaced and are accommodated in hotels in the region.

She said the government may still ask for reimbursement for rebuilding expenses of the affected cities. Samarco stated it "is mobilized to provide services to the city and residents' needs."

Translated by JULIANA CALDERARI

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