Last Saturday, people in Brumadinho took a moment to remember the dam tragedy that left 270 people dead. At 9:09 am, a sound played to sing a moment of silence. Meanwhile, white balloons were released at the base of the Minas Gerais Fire Department near the CÃ³rrego do FeijÃ£o mine, in Vale do Rio Doce, in Brumadinho (MG). In the background, white crosses displayed the name of each of the victims of the tragedy a year ago.
Around this time, last year, Josiane Melo, 38, received the last message from her older sister, Eliane, 39. She was with her nephews and mother in a farm hotel.
Josiane is a civil engineer at Vale and has been on leave since the dam burst. With her sister, she lost her supervisor, colleagues, and friends from her 15-year career.
She is the president of Avabrum, the association created to bring together family members and victims of the tragedy, which created the memorial in honor of the victims. The rupture of the B1 dam left 270 dead in the official count.
The memorial will be built on a site purchased by Vale. Family members not only want the place to serve as a memorial but also be one of peace for those who survived.
Josiane says the priority is to construct a building to receive body pieces of people who had already been identified. "The proposal is for it to be a vertical, ecological cemetery."
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon