Friday, 27 January 2012

Vale Voted World’s Worst Corporation

Source: USW News

TORONTO, 27 January, 2012 - Brazilian multinational Vale is a worthy recipient of the 2012 Public Eye People's Choice Award for the world's worst company, the United Steelworkers (USW) says.

The award was presented today in Davos, Switzerland, where corporate chieftains and political leaders are meeting for the annual World Economic Forum.

Nobel economics laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz presented the award on behalf of its organizers - the Berne Declaration and Greenpeace Switzerland.

Stiglitz also called on multinational corporations to go "beyond the minimum required by the law to protect the environment, to treat workers with decency and fairness, not to exploit all the advantages that asymmetries in bargaining might afford."

"Vale certainly is a deserving recipient of this international recognition," said Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers National Director for Canada.

"In the short time since it ventured into Canada in 2006 with its takeover of Inco Ltd., Vale has provoked unprecedented labour disputes, attacked working standards, worsened labour relations, slashed jobs, and announced harmful plant closures," Neumann said.

"What's more, Vale's record in other parts of the world is even worse," he added.

More than 88,000 people around the world voted on the 2012 Public Eye award. The award competition is organized by the Berne Declaration and Greenpeace Switzerland to choose the worst case of contempt for the environment and human rights.

"This vote demonstrates the increasing global awareness of Vale's terrible record of destroying communities and the environment while systematically violating workers' rights," said United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard.

Last December, the Ontario Labor Relations Board found that Vale committed unfair labor practices during a year-long strike in Sudbury. Last June, two workers died in Sudbury in a mining accident that is still under investigation.

Earlier, an Industrial Inquiry Commission appointed by the Newfoundland and Labrador government to investigate an 18-month strike at Voisey's Bay found that Vale's "behaviour demonstrates disrespect for the role of a bargaining agent."
Vale was nominated for the Public Eye award by Justice on the Rails, a Brazilian coalition of environmental and community groups.

"We owe a tremendous debt to our sisters and brothers in Brazil who continue to expose this company's destructive actions," Leo Gerard said.

- 30 -

Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada, 416-544-5950
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221,

Polluting Brazilian Mining Giant VALE Exposed: “worst corporation of the year”

Source: Climate Connections

DAVOS (SWITZERLAND) / PORTO ALEGRE (BRAZIL), 25 JANUARY 2012 — With more than 21,000 votes, the Brazilian mining giant Vale is highly likely to be crowned the ‘world’s worst corporation of the year’ at the January 27 ‘Public Eye Awards’ in Davos, Switzerland [1]

On the same day as the Awards ceremony, January 27, the world’s largest grassroots environmental organisation will release a case study  highlighting how Vale contributes to climate change [2] through its dirty mining activities while profiting from ‘carbon offsetting’ schemes which exacerbate the climate crisis.

The Brazilian corporation Vale is the world’s second largest metals and mining company and one of the largest producers of raw materials globally. In 2010 it reported profits of US$ 17 billion.

The case study released by Friends of the Earth International reveals Vale’s unfulfilled promises and its lobby activities aimed at influencing national and international climate change policies.

Despite setting out in 2008 its intention to cut its carbon dioxide emissions, Vale emitted – according to its own figures – 20 million tons of CO2 in 2010, an increase of a third on 2007 levels (15 million tons).

Vale has representatives on the Brazilian government’s official delegation to the UN and is one among many major corporations that are exerting pressure on government climate policies to undermine global action on the climate crisis.

The South African energy giant Sasol was also exposed by Friends of the Earth International in a separate recent case study on ‘corporate capture’ of UN processes. [3]


Chief among Vale’s large scale mining projects that have direct impact on peoples and the environment in Brazil is the controversial steel complex of Companhia Siderurgica do Atlantico (TKCSA), a joint venture in Rio de Janeiro.
Vale has faced heavy criticism for high levels of pollution at this plant, which increased Rio de Janeiro’s carbon dioxide emissions by 76 %. Nevertheless, Vale’s project looks set to profit from ‘carbon credits’ under the so-called Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and other offsetting mechanisms.

“The project severely affected the livelihoods of eight thousand fishing workers living in traditional communities in the Sepetiba bay and the joint venture was denounced for environmental crimes in Brazilian courts,” said Lucia Ortiz for Friends of the Earth International.

“While Vale profits from large-scale mining activities which cause climate change, it also profits from false solutions which are exacerbating the climate crisis, such as carbon offsetting,” she added.

Vale is also constructing the Belo Monte dam in the Amazonian rainforest which is set to displace 40,000 people and have devastating consequences for the region’s unique biodiversity and Indigenous Peoples.


The case study released on January 27 also exposes a Vale mining concession in Mozambique, the Moatize coal project, which exploits one of the world’s largest coal reserves since 2011. It is expected to produce 11 million tons of coal per year once it is fully operational.

Vale’s Moatize project attracted considerable criticism in Mozambique, for instance because some 1,300 families were forced to relocate to areas with difficult access to water, energy and arable land, and into houses badly built, with cracks and leaky roofs. Affected communities recently resorted to non-violent demonstrations, including blockading a train transporting coal to the Beira harbour.

Daniel Ribeiro from Friends of the Earth Mozambique said: “Members of local communities have been threatened, persecuted and harassed, according to a Chipanga community member, and these reports are just the tip of the iceberg.


[1] The ‘Public Eye Awards’ are awarded on January 27 at 13:30 local time in Davos, to coincide with the World Economic Forum, which is attended by world leaders. For more information about the ‘Public Eye Awards’ go to:
For more information about Vale:

[2] The Vale case study released on January 27 is online for press preview in English at

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Domingo 15, Moçambique: Tensão prossegue entre familias assentadas, que requisitam a presença da VALE

Por Jeremias Vunjanhe, de Cateme, Moçambique

Quatro dias depois das manifestações (realizadas em 10 de janeiro) de mais de 700 familias reassentadass pela Vale na região de Cateme, Distrito de Moatize, Provincia de Sofala, o Governador Alberto Vaquina efectua durante o dia de hoje (domingo dia 15 de janeiro de 2012) uma visita de emergencia àquele bairro, situado a mais de 65 km da cidade de Tete e a 45 Km da Vila de Moatize.

"Nós queremos a presença da Vale. Foi a Vale que nos fez muitas promessas que agora não quer cumprir. Foi a Vale que nos reassentou. É a Vale que explora o nosso carvão" disse um dos reassentados contactado no final do dia de ontem. A fonte acrescenta ainda que o prolongado silêncio da Vale e o atraso do Governo em reagir às exigências dos reassentados demonstra as perigosas relações estabelecidas e a cumplicidade entre figuras importantes do Governo e da Vale. Sabe-se ainda que o silêncio da Vale diante das manifestações dos reassentados foi imposto pelo Governo de Moçambique, que assumiu lidar com os revoltosos.

A equipa da Justiça Ambiental em visita à zona  de reassentamento de Cateme, Moatize, percorreu todos os quatro bairros: Bagamoyo, Mithete, Malabue e Chipanga. Na ocasião constatamos que Cateme vive ainda um momento de medo e terror diante da actuação e comportamento da Polícia da República de Moçambique e a sua unidade de Intervenção Rápida-FIR. Pelo menos 14 pessoas majoritariamente jovens foram detidas. Pelo menos dois dos detidos apresentam sinais de tortura e maus tratos a que foram submetidos nas péssimas  celas da Esquadra da CARBOMOC.

A polícia secreta de Moçambique continua presente no local. Há ainda informações de casos de intimidação e de perseguição a alguns jovens e pessoas violentadas pela FIR nas suas próprias casas quando estes exigem que a FIR e a PRM assumam as suas responsabilidades e prestem assistência aos feridos.

Jeremias a partir de Cateme

Jeremias Vunjanhe
Jornalista e Coordenador da Área de Media da Justiça Ambiental
Jornalista e Coordenador da ADECRU
(Acção Académica para o Desenvolvimento das Comunidades Rurais-ADECRU)
Cel:(+258) 823911238

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Some reasons why Vale deserves the award for Worst Corporation in the world

Some reasons why Vale deserves the award for Worst Corporation in the world

Vale is a candidate for the Public Eye’s World Worst Multinational prize. You can vote here to show your indignation against their human rights and environmental violations. The following text presents the reasons for why they deserve this award. Amongst these are: environmental impacts, social impacts, conflicts with local peoples, labor and economic impacts, international violations.

1. Environmental Impacts
1.1 Environmental Controversies
Vale has a portfolio with 37 investment projects that have unresolved environmental controversies.

1.2 Mining in Conservation Areas
Vale has three mining projects in national forest areas (National Forests and Protected Areas): Carajás Serra Sul, the main one in terms of investment (US$ 8 billion), is located in the Carajás National Forest in Pará, where Vale wants to extract 90 million tons / year of iron ore.

The Sierra Norte project, also located in the national forest, has a production of over 100 million tons / year of iron ore. The location of the Salobo project in the National Tapirapé-Aquiri Forest in the state of Pará creates a series of issues:
1.    The headwaters of the Salobo River will be obstructed because of the construction of a dam and reservoir storage, as well as the containment unit for ore.
2.    The watershed consists of a plateau delimited by 300-400 meters that separates the Igarape Salobo basin from the Cinzento River. This natural division will be affected by the construction of the hydroelectric plant that will power the complex.
3.    The slope of the basin will also be affected by the construction of the dam and the reservoir storage.
Some impacts are already visible: the pollution of the Salobo River in the Itacaiúnas basin, pollution of groundwater due to the establishment of camps, the disruption of streams because of the construction of roads, and deforestation. Over 300 chestnut trees have been cut down for the construction of the project’s road and there is visible destruction in the Nacional Tapirapé-Aquiri Forest.

1.3 Impacts on communities along the Carajás Railway
In 16 communities along the Carajás Railway in Marabá (Santa Rosa dos Pretos, Monge Belo, Bom Jesus das Selvas, Nova Vida, Novo Oriente, Francisco Romão, João do Vale, Planalto I, Planalto II, Agro Planalto, VilaDiamante/P.A, Jutay, Alto Alegre do Pindaré, Vila Labote, Vila Pindaré, Vila Concórdia e Vila União, totaling more than 6500 families), monitored by the Rede Justiça nos Trilhos, the most visible environmental impacts are: air pollution with iron ore particles; running over of wild animals (armadillo, deer, agouti, etc.), cargo animals (donkey, horse) and livestock (oxen, cows). Other impacts are: disruption of rivers due to new roads, pollution of water due to iron ore particles, and further sedimentation in dams.

1.4 Water impacts in Minas Gerais
In Minas Gerais, Vale’s Capon Xavier Mine is located on top of a large aquifer that serves more than 300,000 people from Ribeirões de Fechos, Catarina, Mutuca and Barreiro. The natural flow of river has been reduced by 40%, while supply in Catarina and Barreiro have been reduced by 20%. Additionally, irreversible damage has taken place in preservation areas. In the Fechos Ecological Station water streams are diminishing every year. 

In the metropolitan area of Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais, Vale wants to build the Apolo Mine (second largest project in Brazil) in the Serra do Gandarela. This represents the destruction of the forthcoming Serra do Gandarela National Park, where an important aquifer is located that represents the future water supply for 5 million people.

In Itabira, Minas Gerais, Vale’s place of origin, the company was sued by the municipality for environmental and social damages caused by iron ore operations in the region. The municipality called for the restoration of the affected ecosystems, which are valued at R$868 million.

1.5 Atlantic Steel Company, Sepetiba Bay, RJ
In the Sepetiba Bay, in Rio de Janeiro, the Atlantic Steel Company (TKCSA), a joint venture of Vale and ThyssenKrupp, has caused many harmful impacts on the health, the environment and the income of about 8,000 families and hundreds of artisanal fishermen living in Santa Cruz.

In March 2008, TKCSA was embargoed by IBAMA/Rio de Janeiro and was fined R$ 200,000 for illegally destroying mangrove areas and for the obstruction of a river without authorization. In August 2010, INEA fined TKCSA R$ 1.3 million for air pollution due to particulate matter from the deposition of pig iron in open pits. In January of 2011, INEA fined TKCSA R$ 2.8 million for air pollution and was asked to pay R$14 million in environmental and social compensation. Since December 2010, the Attorney General of the State of Rio de Janeiro, through action filed by the Grupo de Atuação Especial de Combate ao Crime Organizado (GAECO), accused TKCSA of committing environmental crimes. The Group blamed the company’s director and its environmental manager for the illegal actions.

Additionally, scientific studies have shown that the company will be responsible for a 76% increase in the CO2 emissions of Rio de Janeiro.  In Fiocruz, a 1000% increment of iron concentration in the air was found as a result of TKCSA operations. However, the company is suing the three researchers from UERJ and FIOCRUZ that produced these studies for moral damages.

1.6 Emission of pollutants
In 2008, Vale was responsible for emitting about 16.8 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). In 2010, total emissions of particulate matter were 66,000 tons, an increment of 29% compared to 2009. Regarding nitrogen oxides (NOx), total emissions were 110,000 tons in 2010, an increase of about 30% over the previous year. Total emissions of sulfur dioxide in 2010 were 403,000 tons, an increment of 25% from the previous year.

2. Social impacts
2.1 Fatalities, accidents and other impacts of the Carajás Railroad
The 892 km of the Vale’s Carajás Railroad divides 25 counties in the states of Marabá and Pará. There are 94 communities, between villages, towns and cities, within 1000m of the railroad. The intense movement of people and the lack of protection mechanisms and signaling are responsible for the death of one person every month by Vale’s trains. In 2007, there were 23 recorded deaths, and nine fatal ‘hit and run’ victims. According to ANTT, that same year 2860 accidents were recorded across the length of the railroad.

A new project is seeking to double Carajas’ capacity. According to IBAMA’s records, Vale is willing to eliminate more than 1,168 geographical ‘interferences’ for the construction of the project. Amongst the interferences are: houses, farms, crops and villages. The legality of the licensing process has been called into question. The Federal Attorney General recently filed a public civil action and a federal court injunction was emitted in Maranhão to suspend the works in the railroad.

2.2 Collapsed houses and compulsory removal
In 16 communities (Santa Rosa dos Pretos, Monge Belo, Bom Jesus das Selvas, Nova Vida, Novo Oriente, Francisco Romão, João do Vale, Planalto I, Planalto II, Agro Planalto, VilaDiamante/P.A, Jutay, Alto Alegre do Pindaré, Vila Labote, Vila Pindaré, Vila Concórdia and Vila União, which totals 6,500 families), monitored by the Rede Justiça nos Trilhos, the most visible impacts are: killings, damages to the structure of the houses, forced removal of families by Vale, noise pollution, damage to local roads caused by large vehicles, the banning of subsistence crops in the vicinities of the railroad, and an increase in the population of male workers which increases social vulnerability.

2.3 Respiratory and skin diseases in Açailândia, Marabá
In Açailândia, Marabá, Vale’s production unit of charcoal (which was sold in 2011) is located next to a settlement of rural workers that suffer deeply from the impacts of the smoke generated in the furnace. 70 of them were diagnosed with serious respiratory diseases. 

Similar diagnostics were seen in Piqua due to the operations of five steel mills associated to Vale.  The iron ore and all the pig iron production is transported via railroad. This area produces over 500,000 tons of pig iron. Surveys conducted by the Center on Infectious Diseases and the Federal Univeristy of Maranhão revealed that 41.1% of the population complains of some sort of skin and respiratory illness. The diseases were credited to high levels of pollution caused by the smoke and debris from the steel mills, and pollution of water resources.

In May 2011, the International Federation for Human Rights released the report "Brazil:  How Much are Human Rights Worth? Regarding Vale's Impacts in Açailândia, Maranhão.” The report indicates that "the incessant air pollution, the ongoing pollution to water resources, and poor sanitation systems have a negative impact on people living in extreme poverty conditions. Not only them are affected, but also their crops, which intensifies their poverty and undermines their standard of living.”

The mobilization of communities that seek mitigation and compensation for damages has been characterized by difficulties due to: poor information access, irregularities in the process of approval of environmental impact studies and attacks to their character. Moreover, judicial petitions presented by the communities were ignored and no measures have been taken so far. This represents a violation of the right to due process and effective remedy.

2.4 Child Prostitution
In Bom Jesus das Selvas, a city of 25,000 inhabitants, the arrival of 2000 men for the Carajas railway works increased the cases of child prostitution and sexual exploitation according to the Centro de Defesa da Vida e dos Direitos Humanos. Low-income adolescents exchange sex for clothes, shoes or amounts from $ 30 to $ 50.

2.5 Death threats in Rio de Janeiro
Due to their resistance to the TKCS in Sepetiba Bay, fishermen and other community leaders suffered from death threats and intimidation. For example, the house of the president of APESCARI, Luiz Carlos, was vandalized. Negotiations were started to include him in the federal program for human right protection. A petition was also sent to the UN Special Representative for Human Rights and Transnational Corporations because of the violations committed by the TKCSA.

3. Traditional populations
3.1 Conviction for damages to Quilombolas communities in Pará
In April 2011, a federal court ordered Vale to pay an amount close to three times the minimum salary, to 788 Quilombolas families living in Jambuaçu, Mojo. The community is located 82 miles from Belém, in the region of Pará. A 244 kilometers pipeline that transports bauxite from Paragominas crosses the village and other municipalities until reaching the city of Barcarena. In this city, Alumina do Norte Brazil (Alunorte), a subsidiary of Vale, has its operations. Among the negative impacts from the pipeline are: rock removal, sedimentation of the Jambuaçu river streams, and the clearing of more than 150 chestnut trees.

3.2 Tampering of Quilomblas communities’ land rights Marabá
In Maranhão, through administrative appeals, Vale is preventing traditional communities in Santa Rosa dos Pretos and Monge Belo to have collective ownership of their lands. These lands have been demarcated by the Brazilian State. With these actions, Vale is seeking to facilitate the removal of these communities and the movement of heavy construction machinery for new works in the Carajas Railroad.

3.3 Invasion of indigenous lands in Espiritu Santo
In Espiritu Santo, a project by the Ubu Steel Company of Archieta will invade lands occupied by the indigenous community of Chapada do A. Despite the fact that the environmental license forced the company to respect the right of the residents to remain in their lands, Vale has strongly pressured them to sell their properties by offering an average of R$7,000 per household. In February 2011, the communities were informed by FUNAI of their status as the indigenous community of Tupinikim. FUNAI recognized their status as traditional peoples, but many issues remain with the demarcation of their land.

3.4 Federal Courts ask Vale to compensate the Xikrin tribe in Pará
In 2008, the court condemned Vale to allocate more than R$ 650,000 per month to indigenous peoples that live close to the Carajas mineral province. After performing mineral activities for over ten years in indigenous lands in the southeast of Pará, Vale was forced to compensate the two affected communities. According to a Federal Court ruling Vale is set to pay R$ 268,054.62 to the Cateté Xikrin tribe and R $ 388,843.27 to the Xikrin Djudjekô, totaling a payment of more than R$ 650,000.

4. Labor and economic impacts
4.1 Exhaustive workloads
In March 2010, the Labour Court of Parauapebas in Pará ordered Vale to pay R$100 million in damages and more than R$200 million in labor violations. According to the ruling, Vale was forced to pay for the commuting hours of workers. The lengthy commute increased workload to 13 hours, a clear violation of the constitution, and it reduces by 15 hours their leisure time. Vale was convicted of collective moral damage, since workers’ free time is also absorbed by work duties. Such labor imprisonment conditions can transform worker’s weekly rest into an exhaust valve that can trigger increases in local rates of violence, alcoholism and prostitution.

4.2 Overflowing labor lawsuits in Parauapebas, PA
There are thousands of labor lawsuits - about to be overturned – in the Federal Court. There has been an exploding amount of cases in the Judiciary of Labour in Parauapebas (where the Carajas project is located) in recent years. There were 1878 cases in 1997. The amount of cases increased to 3,752 in 2006 and 6,761 in 2009. Most of the cases are related to violations of the right to compensation.

4.3 Earnings versus wages
The court also said that Vale arbitrarily increased their profits at the expense of wages, affecting not only workers, but their own contractors, as well as mining competitors through workforce dumping.

4.4 Forced labor and child labor
According to investigations by the Public Ministry and IBAMA, Vale has maintained trade relations with pig iron companies that are involved in child labor cases by providing them with iron ore and the necessary infrastructure for their production.

4.5 Billion dollar royalties and tax evasion
Although they operate in one of the countries with the lowest mining royalties in the world, Vale does not pay what the law requires. The company has accumulated a debt of R$4 billion with the CFEM (Compensação Financeira pela Exploração de Recursos Minerais). For that reason their name is included in the registry of individuals and corporations that are indebted to the national state (Cadastro Informativo de Créditos Não Quitados do Setor Público Federal) and exploration operations in the Carajas mines was forbidden until they fulfill their debt. According to the Attorney General, Vale also sells its ore below market prices in European and Asian markets. In December 2011, the Federal Court ordered to pay the millions of dollars in taxes that they owe to Brazilian state and to CFEM.

5. International impacts
5.1 Mozambique: eviction of communities
The mega-mining projects of Moma and Moatize, in the north and center of the country, have displaced 760 farming families from their communities due to the opening of new coal mines, according to reports from the Mozambique’s Center for Public Integrity. The company has divided the displaced families in rural and semi-urban areas using speculative criteria for their resettlement. Rural families are those that were resettled 45 km from their home community and 75km from the city of Tete. We are suffering," says one displaced resident. "Vale has exacerbated our poverty. In our communities we sold firewood and charcoal. We sold our food. Here in the resettlement, we are the unemployed and the poor without access to the market and without other sources of income.“  More resettlements are underway. 

5.2 Canada: longest strike in history and illegal dumping of waste
Vale used the recent global crisis as an excuse to reduce wages, increase working hours, massive layoffs, and cut benefits and other workers’ rights. This led to the longest strike in Canadian history against Inco (a subsidiary of Vale). In Sudbury and Colborne, Ontario, the strike lasted 12 months, while in Voisey’s Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, it lasted 18 months. The strike involved more than 3000 workers. 

The company is also being sued for destroying the lake Sandy Pond to create a waste storage of 400,000 tons, according to complaints from local organizations. Even in Canada, Vale is the center of the largest civil action for environmental problems in the country’s history. In 2010 Vale was sentenced to pay more than 36 million Canadian dollars in damages to more than 7,000 residents of the province where Vale operates a nickel refinery. The decision was reversed recently, but the case will be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.

5.3 Peru: private militias
A subsidiary of Vale "Miski Mayo" ("Rio Doce" in Quechua, an indigenous language) started their operations in 2003 in Cajamarca. Three years later, the Commission on Sustainable Environmental Management found evidence of militia activities within the facility. There are several reports of persecution of leaders who have opposed the project.

5.4 Indonesia: land dispute and refugees
In 2000, after the civil war, the Karonsi'e refugee of the Sorowako community earned the right to return to their lands, where the company Inco had exploited the nickel resources, in agreement with the previous dictatorship. Crops and houses were destroyed for the development of mines. Currently, 30 families are still fighting for their lands and live in extreme poverty. They are unemployed and suffered from constant threats.

5.5 Argentina: impacts on water
In Mendoza, in South of Malargue, the increasing demand for fertilizers has boosted Vale’s performance due to their potassium project in the Colorado River. The company’s practices have impacted the watershed, which serves 25,000 inhabitants. It has also destroyed native flora and fauna. Furthermore, the Colorado River, one of Argentina’s main sources of water, is at risk of salinization.

5.6 New Caledonia: pipeline to dump nickel production’ wastes in the sea
Since 2006, Vale Inco seeks to implement mining projects in Goro,  in New Caledonia, but it has faced strong opposition from the local indigenous population, the Kanak. A major focus of the protests has been Vale’s intention to build a pipeline to dump mining residues in the sea. This action will inevitably damage the coral reef that surrounds the country - which is largest one in the world - and the country’s lagoons system.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Mozambique families protest against Brazil's Vale

JOHANNESBURG Jan 10 (Reuters) - Families resettled by Brazilian mining giant Vale in the Tete region of Mozambique protested on Tuesday that the company had failed to keep promises it made to them in 2009.

About 700 families, resettled approximately 60 kilometres away from the Moatize coal mining site, demonstrated against the lack of access to water, electricity and agricultural land at their resettlement Cateme area.

"Many promises made by Vale before they resettled us here have not been accomplished since 2009," said community leader Eduardo Zinocassaka.

Vale refused to comment, saying it had an agreement with the local government, which would release an official comment on Wednesday morning.

The families were resettled between November 2009 and December 2010.

"Last December we sent a document-complaint to the government of Moatize District requesting their official intervention to solve the problems faced by the communities, and as we saw the government's incapacity, we decided to demonstrate," Zinocassaka told Reuters by phone. (Reporting by William Mapote, editing by Xola Potelwa and Jane Baird)