International Open Letter of Those Affected by Vale

Date of publication: 
1 April 2010

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – We, more than 160 participants from 80 organizations, unions and social movements from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Germany, France, Italy, Mozambique, New Caledonia, Peru and Taiwan gathered from April 12 to 15, 2010 in Rio de Janeiro for the First International Meeting of People, Communities and Workers affected by the aggressive and predatory policies of Vale.

Vale’s advertising reminds us every day that it is a Brazilian company and that it works with “passion” to promote “sustainable development” internationally, to ensure a good future for our children. In its commercials it uses images of people of renown and celebrities. However, in this International Meeting, we have ascertained that it is a transnational company, which works exclusively in favour of its shareholders and of big capital. We want to make public that Vale infringes human rights, exploits both male and female workers, imposes precarious working conditions, destroys nature and disrespects traditional communities, outlying urban neighbourhoods and unionists.

Testimonies show the resistance and advances made by workers and communities that experience Vale’s long-term mining projects situated in places such as: Barcarena, Maraba and Parauapebas in Para State, and in Acail?ndia and Sao Lu?s in Maranhao State (Carajas Axis); Sudbury, Voisey’s Bay, Thompson and Port Colborne in Canada; nickel mines in New Caledonia and Indonesia; iron ore mines in Itabira and Congonhas, and the hydroelectric power plant in Aimores, Minas Gerais State; the steel mill in Anchieta, Esp?rito Santo State; and Companhia Sider?rgica do Atl?ntico – TKCSA in Rio de Janeiro State. Other struggles opposing the implementation of projects or fighting against the execution of projects include: the Pecem steel complex in Ceara State; the thermoelectric power plant of Barcarena in Para State; Pantanal in Mato Grosso do Sul State; the Belo Monte hydroelectric power plant in Para State; the Rio Colorado Project in Argentina; the dumping of waste in Sandy Pond, Newfoundland, Canada; Serra do Gandarela and Capao Xavier in Minas Gerais State; twelve new mining projects in Bahia State; Canaa dos Carajas and Ouril?ndia in Para State; the Tres Valles Project in Chile; projects in Cajamarca and San Martin de Sechura in Peru; and the Moatize coal mine in Mozambique.

The life of communities and workers and the wellbeing of the planet as a whole should prevail over the limitless profits of transnational companies. Hiding behind a fake green and yellow image, Vale destroys and kills ecosystems and entire communities. We have gathered here because we believe in life and in living well. We have gathered here because we resist. We have gathered here because nature’s resources should belong to the people. We have gathered here because we believe in humanity and in its capacity to fight.

>From this moment on, we will strengthen our efforts to monitor and denounce every step this company takes, broadening our resistance and our struggle, building alternatives to this exploitative and predatory model. Hence, we call upon the communities that are suffering the consequences of big mining projects, civil society, Vale workers – men and women -, social movements and organizations, church groups, students and teachers to join us and take part in the construction of this new moment in the international struggle against Vale.




ADUFRJ – Secao Sindical BRAZIL
Agence Kanak de Developpement New Caledonia
Agrupaci?n Defensa Valle Chalinga Chile
Amigos da Terra Brasil / Casa – Centro de Apoio S?cio-ambiental BRAZIL
Associacao em Defesa de Reclamantes e Vitimados por Doenca do Trabalho na Cadeia Produtiva de Alum?nio e Mineracao BRAZIL
Asamblea Popular por el Agua Argentina
Associacao Comunitaria de Apoio e Assist?ncia jur?dica Mozambique
Associacao de Lavradores da Col?nia Santa Rita BRAZIL
Assembleia Popular BRAZIL
Associacao de Advogados de Trabalhadores Rurais – AATR BRAZIL
Associacao de Moradores da Chapada do a BRAZIL
Associacao de Moradores de Belo Horizonte BRAZIL
Associacao de Moradores de Chapada BRAZIL
Associacao de Moradores de Piquia BRAZIL
Associacao de Moradores de Ubu Anchieta BRAZIL
Associacao de Pescadores e Moradores de Uba – Anchieta BRAZIL
Associacao dos Moradores do Porto BRAZIL
Associacao Movimento Paulo Jackson – etica, Justica e Cidadania BRAZIL
Baia de Sepetiba pede Socorro (Comit?) BRAZIL
Centro de Apoio e Pesquisa ao Pescador BRAZIL
Centro para a Integridade Pol?tica Mozambique
CNTSM – Confederacao Nacional dos Trabalhadores do Setor Mineral BRAZIL
Colectivo Comunal de Reflexos Sechura Peru
Comissao Pastoral da Terra BRAZIL
Comite de Defensa Valle Chuchini Chile
Comuna Verde BRAZIL
Comunidade do Curupere – Vila do Conde BRAZIL
Comunidade Congonhas BRAZIL
Comunidad Campesina San Martin de Sechura Peru
Conlutas BRAZIL
Consulta Popular BRAZIL
Desenvolvimento e Paz Canada
ECOA – Ecologia e Acao BRAZIL
FIAN – Rede de Informacao e Acao pelo Direito a se Alimentar BRAZIL
F?rum Carajas BRAZIL
Frente Defensa Cuenca Rio Cajamarquino Peru
Fundacao Open Society – Angola BRAZIL
Gamba – Grupo Ambientalista da Bahia BRAZIL
GRUFIDES – Grupo de Formaci?n e Intervenci?n para El Desarollo Sostenible Peru
Grupo de Estudos e Pesquisas Trabalho e Sociedade (GEPTS) / UFMA BRAZIL
Grupo de Estudos sobre Mineracao / P?s-graduacao UFRJ BRAZIL
Grupo de Estudos: Desenvolvimento, Modernidade e Meio Ambiente (GEDMMA / UFMA) BRAZIL
IEB – Instituto Internacional de Educacao do Brasil BRAZIL
Instituto Rosa Luxemburgo BRAZIL
Justica Global BRAZIL
Justica nos Trilhos Italy
Kobra / FDCL Germany
Liga de Justica Ambiental Mozambique
MAB – Movimentos dos Atingidos por Barragens BRAZIL
Mines and Communities
MiningWatch Canada Canada
Misereor Germany
Missionarios Combonianos de Salvador BRAZIL
Movimento pelas Serras e aguas de Minas BRAZIL
MST – Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais sem Terra BRAZIL
MTD – Movimento dos Trabalhadores Desempregados BRAZIL
NINJA (N?cleo de Investigacao em Justica Ambiental) BRAZIL
N?cleo Piratininga de Comunicacao BRAZIL
N?cleo Tramas – Univ. Federal do Ceara BRAZIL
Observat?rio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales – OLCA Chile
OCMAL – Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros em America Latina Ecuador
Organizacao Ind?gena do Ceara (Anace) BRAZIL
Organizaci?n Ambiental de Salamanca – OCAS Chile
Pastoral do menor BRAZIL
PCB (Partido Comunista Brasileiro) BRAZIL
Presidente Associacao de Moradores – Comunidade Antonio Maria Coelho BRAZIL
Rede Alerta Contra o deserto Verde BRAZIL
Rede Brasil sobre Instituic?es Financeiras Multilaterais BRAZIL
Rede Comuna Verde – GAMA BRAZIL
Rede Social de Justica e Direitos Humanos BRAZIL
Rede Brasileira de Justica Ambiental BRAZIL
Red de Organizaciones Sociales de La Prov?ncia Del Choapa Chile
Salve a Selva BRAZIL / Germany
Sindicato dos trabalhadores e trabalhadoras rurais – STTR BRAZIL
Sindicato dos trabalhadores Ferroviarios MA, PA e TO / CUT-MA BRAZIL
Sindicato Metabase – Congonhas – MG BRAZIL
Sindicato Metabase – Itabira – MG BRAZIL
Sindimina – RJ BRAZIL
SINTEPP – Sindicato dos Trabalhadores em Educacao P?blica do Para BRAZIL
Sinticim – Sindicato Nacional dos Trabalhadores da Ind?stria de Construcao Civil, Madeira e Minas de Mocambique Mozambique
Sociedade Maranhense de Direitos Humanos – SMDH BRAZIL
Sociedade Paraense de Defesa dos Direitos Humanos – SDDH BRAZIL
Terra de Direitos BRAZIL
UNAC (Uniao Nacional de Camponeses) Mozambique
United Steelworkers, Canadian National Office
USW Local 6500 Sudbury
USW Local 6200 Port Colborne
USW Local 9508 Voisey’s Bay Canada
Via Campesina Brasil BRAZIL