According to the inhabitants of each of the 27 municipal districts and 100 other small locations, the trains bring with them five minutes of noise, the possibility of cracks in the mud walls of their houses as they closely pass by, not to mention the risks of accidents, some of them fatal.
The Vale do Rio Doce wants to duplicate the capacity of the railroad system, which for the 104 thousand inhabitants of Açailândia, in Maranhão, will mean having to put up with the noise of a train convoy every 25 minutes, or 58 per day. The cost of the project is estimated at 28 billion dollars, but has been temporarily suspended by a court order.
According to Alessandra Mangiarotti of the the Corriere della Sera journal, Comboni missionaries, along with civil organizations, are responsible for the temporary legal suspension, in particular the actions by Italian priest Dario Bossi.
"That train of profit does not stop, it does not know of obstacles. It subverts, kills, wakes up with its deafening noise and splits mud walls of houses when passing through,” says Bossi in his blog. Bossi’s pastoral ministry is based in Açailândia.
Judge Ricardo Macieira suspended the work to double the capacity of the railroad system, stating that in his understanding the license granted to Vale do Rio Doce by the Environment Institute was irregular.
The legal recourse is also supported by actions on the part of the Missionary Indigenous Council, the Maranhão Human Rights Society, the Afro Cultural Center, and the Railroad Justice Network.
Photo: Carajás railroad in Brazil