By a commentator for Tjen Folket Media
The industry newspaper E24 reports that the Hydro-refinery Alunorte has now been able to increase production in Brazil again. The Alunorte-scandal is a dark example of Norwegian imperialism and environmental criminality. Norwegian state capital grows with the exploitation and destruction of nature and peoples in one of the world’s poorest countries.
Russia Today’s Ruptly has made a video about the scandal and the protests against Norsk Hydro:
Brazil: Residents accuse Norwegian Norsk Hydro of polluting Amazon city
The film shows the local population’s protests against Hydro. Poor people in the city of Barcarena report diarrhea, stomach pains, rashes, and fatigue after Norsk Hydro released an enormous amount of waste substances in the Pará River last year.
Alunorte is the world’s largest aluminum refinery. It is operated by the semi-public Norwegian company Hydro and lies within the district of Pará in northeast Brazil, dominated by the Amazon Rainforest.
After heavy rains in the middle of February 2018, the Alunorte plant was flooded and the leadership of the factory opted to divert untreated rainwater directly into the Pará River. Hydro was therefore forced to halve production at Alunorte from March 1 of the same year after demands from Brazilian environmental authorities and an order issued by a local court.
Dagens Næringsliv writes that the company was also issued a total prohibition against using their red mud dump. The Norwegian state owns 34% of shares in Hydro, which is one of Norway’s largest companies.
The same newspaper writes in another issue:
Alunorte is a refinery for bauxite, the most important raw material needed for creating aluminum. The giant factory receives its bauxite from Paragominas, a few tens of kilometers inland, and thus production will now resume here as Alunorte starts production again. Hydro says that they will soon reach a conclusion as to whether production in the partially owned aluminum smelter Albras, the neighboring factory adjacent to Alunorte, will increase production as well.
Dagens Næringsliv has followed the case and estimates that Hydro has lost 15 billion kroners as a result of the scandal, as share prices plummeted by 40% after the incident and the legal proceedings.
To smoothen the process of resuming normal production, Hydro has placed many hundreds of millions of kroner on the table, in addition to a number of measures to cooperate with local authorities. For instance, they plan to comply with investigations of the plant’s infrastructure. Dagens Næringsliv writes:
It had also been known from earlier that Hydro would invest 500 million kroner to increase the capacity of the water treatment system in the factory. Setting aside the promise of half a billion kroner, these investment promises make up a total sum of 1.3 billion kroners.
Each year, mining operations in Brazil claim many lives. For instance, 160 people were killed in a mine collapse in February of this year. Brazil’s bureaucrat-capitalistic and corrupt authorities work hand in hand with foreign imperialism to secure contracts for everything they bring with them.
The masses in Brazil are fighting against imperialism and bureacrat-capitalism. And not only spontaneously as an immediate reaction to such accidents. There are great revolutionary mass organizations in the country. For instance, the League of Peasants (LCP) went on tour in Germany in 2017 in collaboration with German revolutionaries to inform about the masses’ struggle in Brazil. LCP fights for a new democratic revolution in Brazil as a part of the revolutionary movement in the country.
This movement fights against populist and Trump-supporter Bolsonaro, but they have also fought against the Lula-fraction and the false “Labour Party” (PT) that had a sitting president before Bolsonaro took power.