In the municipalities of Teixeiras, Piranga and Viçosa, in the Zona da Mata region of Minas Gerais, residents complain about the inconvenience caused by trucks and trailers that provide service to the Zona da Mata Mineração (ZMM), transporting ore extracted from the municipalities of Teixeiras and Pedra do Tapir. The problem had already been addressed by Brazil de Facto MG, in articles published in September 2020 and January 2021.
According to residents, vehicles pass through the urban area, where the streets are narrow, hindering local traffic. The movement spreads dust and causes noise, disturbing rest, even at dawn. Shakes are felt in buildings, causing cracks. The excess weight of machinery also generates complaints. Road resurfacing works have been damaged and trailer accidents have also been reported, as with cases of vehicle overturning, ore spillage and at least two accidents, in which people were injured.
Remember here: Residents of Viçosa, MG, protest against the circulation of ore trucks
Last year, protesters blocked an avenue in Viçosa, demanding action. The population claims, as a way out of the problem, the establishment of alternative routes and prohibited zones for heavy vehicles, the limitation of schedules and flow, as well as the limitation of the speed and weight of vehicles.
In January of this year, a demonstration was held in the city of Teixeiras. At the time, ZMM stated that, within 20 days, it would carry out the necessary maintenance on the diversion, in order to resume the flow of trucks outside the city.
Read more here: Teixeiras (MG) population protests against the flow of ore trucks in the city
“The municipal government can legislate on the environmental impact of cargo transport. Piranga did this by regulating the time and flow. Congonhas and Conselheiro Lafayete also adopted municipal regulations for heavy vehicles”, argues Jean Carlos Martins, from the Movement for Popular Sovereignty in Mining (MAM).
The issue was debated by the Viçosa City Council on June 17, in a public hearing requested by councilors Daniel Cabral (PCdoB), Professor Bartô (PT) and Jamille Gomes (PT). Among the referrals, the review of the ZMM Environmental Impact Study, the carrying out of a study to verify an alternative route, the creation of a municipal fund for the repair of public roads and the activation of the Public Ministry were foreseen. At the hearing, representatives of the mining company and also the movement were present.
Almost a month later, on July 14, an office hired by ZMM sent Jean Carlos, from MAM, an extrajudicial notification. In the notification, a public retraction was requested for the criticism he had made of the mining company, at the Chamber hearing, within a period of up to 48 hours. Otherwise, “appropriate measures would be taken”. The text says that there would be a lawsuit for “slander and defamation”, with payment of damages. “Such statements are based only and solely on the unilateral declarations of the residents”, the document adds.
For MAM, notification is an attempt to constrain movement. “It was a clear attempt to intimidate, to make us back down. But we maintain our initiative to continue reporting in the media and also informing public bodies. A company that claims to be open to dialogue, when exposed, adopts this posture, intimidates those who are complaining”, points out Jean.
According to the activist, a public civil action was filed, at the initiative of several organizations, questioning the company’s environmental licensing. The action, according to him, is based on technical studies that proved omissions and inconsistencies in the Environmental Impact Study (EIA/Rima) that validated the mining company’s operations in the region.
The report sent questions to Zona da Mata Mineração, but as of this writing, it had not received an answer.
Source: BoF Minas Gerais
Edition: Larissa Costa