Last update:
2019-02-28

Pig iron industries in Piquiá de Baixo, Maranhão, Brazil

After ten years of struggle, families affected by the pig iron industry in Piquiá de Baixo will be resettled to a new neighborhood without contamination. The name chosen for the neighborhood is Piquiá da Conquista (Piquiá of Conquest).


Description:

About 380 families (1,100 people) live in the community Piquiá de Baixo in the municipality of Açailândia (Maranhão). They are surrounded by five pig iron industries - Vienna Siderúrgica S/A, Siderúrgica do Maranhao S/A, Companhia Siderúrgica Vale do Pindaré, Fergumar Ferro Gusa do Maranhão Ltda e Gusa Nordeste S/A. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Pig iron industries in Piquiá de Baixo, Maranhão, Brazil
Country:Brazil
State or province:Maranhão
Location of conflict:Açailandia
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Mineral processing
Specific commodities:Iron ore
Steel
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

- Gusa Nordeste: 216,000 tons of pig iron per year.

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Project area:38
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:380 families (around 1,100 people)
Start of the conflict:01/01/2005
Company names or state enterprises:Ferro Gusa do Maranhão Ltda (Pig Iron of Maranhao Ltda) (FERGUMAR) from Brazil - Polluting company
Vale (Vale) from Brazil
Viena Siderúrgica S/A (Vienna Steel S/A) from Brazil - Polluting company
Siderúrgica do Maranhão S/A (Steel Maranhao S/A) (SIMASA) from Brazil - polluting company
Cia. Siderúrgica Vale do Pindaré (Pindare's Valley Steel Co) from Brazil - Polluting company
Gusa Nordeste S/A from Brazil - Polluting company
Sindicato das Indústrias de Ferro Gusa do Maranhão (Sindycate of Pig Iron of Maranhão) (SIFEMA) from Brazil - Representative organization of pig iron industries accused of polluting the neighborhood.
Relevant government actors:Prefeitura Municipal de Açailândia (Town of Açailândia);
Governo do Estado do Maranhão (Government of the State of Maranhão); Secretaria Estadual do Meio Ambiente do Maranhão (State Secretariat of Environment of Maranhão);
Secretaria Municipal do Meio Ambiente de Açailândia (Municipal Secretariat of Environment of Açailândia);
Ministério Público do Estado do Maranhão (Public Ministry of the State of Maranhão);
Defensoria Pública do Estado do Maranhão (Public Defender of the State of Maranhão);
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Associação de Moradores de Piquiá de Baixo (Association of Residents of Piquiá de Baixo); Paróquia São João Batista de Açailândia (Parish of St. John the Baptist of Açailândia);
Diocese de Imperatriz (Diocese of Empress); Centro de Defesa da Vida e dos Direitos Humanos de Açailândia Carmen Bascarán (Center for the Defense of Life and Human Rights of Açailândia); Worldwide Human Rights Movement - FIDH
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Public campaigns
Shareholder/financial activism.
Street protest/marches
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Fires, Global warming, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths
Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights
Potential: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Negotiated alternative solution
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
A resettlement plan
Development of alternatives:The community demands resettlement in another area free of pollution.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:Finally, after ten years of struggle, by the end of 2018, the construction of new neighborhood (Piquiá da Conquista) are about to begin.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

SANTOS, André (Juiz). Sentença relativa ao processo nº 2305-62.2005.8.10.0022. 19 dez. 2013. (SANTOS, André (Judge). Judgment concerning case No. 2305-62.2005.8.10.0022. 19 December 2013.)
[click to view]

MINISTÉRIO PÚBLICO DO ESTADO DO MARANHÃO. Compromisso de Ajustamento de Conduta, 24 ago. 2012. (PROSECUTOR OF STATE OF MARANHÃO. Commitment Adjustment of Conduct 24 August).
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[6] Centro dos Direitos das Populações da Região de Carajás - Fórum Carajás. Mineração na Amazônia: Estado, Empresas e Movimentos Sociais. São Luís/Maranhão/Brasil 2010
[click to view]

[8] Atingidos pela Vale. Dossiê dos Impactos e Violações da Vale no Mundo. I Encontro Internacional dos Atingidos pela Vale, Rio de Janeiro, Abril de 2010.
[click to view]

[7] Faustino, Furtado. Mineração e Violações de Direitos: O Projeto Ferro Carajás S11D da Vale S.A - Relatório da Missão de Investigação e Incidência. Açailândia, Plataforma Dhesca Brasil: CASA, Justiça Global, 2013.
[click to view]

SILVA, Antônio Rafael. Parecer médico acerca dos problemas de saúde que afetem a População do povoado do Piquiá no município de Açailândia-MA. Universidade Federal do Maranhão, Centro de Referência em Doenças Infecciosas e Parasitárias, Núcleo de Estudos em Medicina Tropical da Pré-amazônia. 06 jun. 2011. 18 p. (SILVA, Antonio Rafael. Medical opinion about health issues affecting the population of the village in the municipality of Piquiá Açailândia-MA. Federal University of Maranhão, Reference Center for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Center for Studies in Tropical Medicine Pre-amazon. 06 June 2011. 18 p.)
[click to view]

Mapa de Conflitos Envolvendo Injustiça Ambiental e Saúde No Brasil. MA. Indústria Guseira, Contaminação da Água, Falta de Segurança e Condições Impróprias à Vida e à Saúde dos Moradores do Distrito Industrial de Piquiá (Açailândia). 2014.
[click to view]

[5] Federação Internacional Dos Direitos Humanos, Justiça Global Brasil, Justiça Nos Trilhos. Brasil: Quanto valem os direitos humanos? Os impactos sobre os direitos humanos relacionados à indústria da mineração e da siderurgia em Açailândia. FIDH, Paris, mai. 2011.
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] Rede Justiça nos Trilhos. SIFEMA desrespeita prazos de acordo e direitos de moradores. 11 abr. 2014.
[click to view]

[2] Rede Justiça nos Trilhos. Moradores de Piquiá de Baixo participam de Assembleia dos Acionistas da Vale S.A. 16 de abril de 2014
[click to view]

[3] Rede Justiça nos Trilhos. Associação Comunitária dos Moradores de Piquiá de Baixo denunciam atraso no processo de reassentamento. Blog Piquiá de Baixo, 06 mar. 2014
[click to view]

[4] Piquiá de Baixo – Justiça nos Trilhos. Piquiá de Baixo luta! 18 de janeiro de 2014
[click to view]

[10] Rede Justiça nos Trilhos. Piquiá de Baixo comemora mais um passo rumo ao reassentamento. 18 de setembro de 2018.
[click to view]

[9] Rede Justiça nos Trilhos. Piquiá de Baixo luta há 10 anos por reassentamento longe da poluição. Associação Comunitária dos Moradores de Piquiá. 22 de janeiro de 2018.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Young residents of Piquiá de Baixo with polluting industry in the background.
[click to view]

Residents suffer from pollution generated by iron pig plants.
[click to view]

Headquarters of the Association of Residents of Piquiá de Baixo.
[click to view]

Other documents

Manifestation of the Piquiá de Baixo community against the delays of the resettlement project
[click to view]

Families of Piquiá de Baixo in the area where they will be resettled
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Diogo Rocha, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, [email protected] / Beatriz Saes, UFF-Brazil, [email protected]
Last update28/02/2019
Comments
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