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Brazilian police warn of murder in hydroelectric dam disaster

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian police have recommended multiple criminal charges against miner Vale SA and Germany’s TUV SUD for their roles in the 2019 dam failure that killed 270 people and caused extensive environmental damage. school, according to a statement Friday.

The federal police investigation, one of several parallel investigations into the incident that devastated communities in the state of Minas Gerais, found that “many pollution-related crimes” had been committed, as well. as “crimes” against plants and animals on land and water. “

Police also recommended charges, including murder, against 19 people who worked for Vale, the company that owned the dam, and TUV SUD, the unit responsible for inspecting the structure.

Minas Gerais state prosecutors filed murder charges against 16 people in 2020, even though state authorities have been mired in a protracted dispute with federal prosecutors over jurisdiction judge.

Federal prosecutors will review federal police recommendations and determine if they bring recommended charges.

Vale and TUV SUD did not immediately respond to requests for comment outside of normal business hours.

The federal police concluded a separate investigation into the disaster in 2019, focusing on false statements presented to regulators.

The company in February reached a 37.7 billion reais ($6.72 billion) settlement with prosecutors and the state of Minas Gerais to settle civil claims stemming from the collapse.

(Reported by Gram Slattery and Marta Nogueira; edited by Sam Holmes)

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