Zema places a mining company’s cousin as a chief at an agency that decides to mine in Serra do Curral

In the midst of the controversy surrounding the exploitation of the Serra do Coral, a postcard of Belo Horizonte, the governor of Minas, Romeo Zima (Novo), appointed the cousin of the executive director of the Presidency of the State Institute for Historic and Artistic Heritage (Iepha). and partner of the company that wants to mine the mountain, Taquaril Mineração S/A (Tamisa).

Architect Marilia Balharis Machado and attorney Guilherme Augusto Gonçalves Machado are cousins ​​on her father’s side, as general agency. Marilia took over Iepha on May 14, replacing Felipe Cardoso Vale Pires, who was fired the same day. Two months ago, Peres sent a letter to the Public Prosecution Office exposing potential illegality in the licensing process for The Times Project. The Minas government reported that Marília was invited “because of her method, experience and path in defense of the historical heritage”.

Romeo Zima is a white man with brown eyes and gray hair, wearing a pink shirt
Romeo Zima, Governor of Minas Gerais

Upon assuming the presidency of Iepha, she automatically assumes the Executive Secretary of the State Council for Cultural Heritage (Conep), who will decide the heritage of the state of the Serra do Coral, a thorn in the side of the Thames, since, approved, that would prevent mining in the area. It will be Marilia’s turn, along with the Secretary of State for Culture and Tourism and the President of the Council, Leonidas Oliveira, to draw up the file that forms the basis for the inclusion in the voting schedule.

Iepha remains at the center of the debate over the legality of the license granted to the project, on April 30, by the State Council on Environmental Policy (COPAME). In a public civil suit brought by the Minas Gerais State Public Ministry (MPMG) asking for the license to be suspended, the plaintiffs cited the lack of an impact study on cultural heritage and valid consent issued by Iepha, “which is why the environmental license is completely void,” they note.

“In the case under analysis, despite the significant impacts on cultural heritage, there was neither a prior offer of a cultural heritage impact study (epic) nor prior approval from Iepha. In this way, the environmental licensing procedure suffers from a blatant vice of illegality, due to the waiver of requirements set forth in state legislation without justification,” the plaintiffs also highlight the May 5 lawsuit.

The photo shows the extension of Serra do Curral, a local forest protected area in Minas Gerais
The Public Prosecution Office is investigating possible illegality in the licensing process of the Serra do Coral

Information that the Times project did not pass the analysis of the institute and did not receive agency approval was referred to the Public Prosecution Office in a letter dated March 22 signed by Felipe Pires – he was acquitted two months into Eva’s presidency. . The document was cited in MPMG’s public civil lawsuit.

Perez’s diagnosis was also included in an email he sent on March 23 to the Superintendent of Priority Projects (Suppri) in the Environmental Department, Rodrigo Ribas, to which the report was made available – Suppri is where the case is being addressed. Mining project licensing process.

In response, Ribas disputed the arguments of the then Iepha chief and argued that the body should not express itself in the process: “We have come (sic), therefore, to ask this institute for clarification about the service which is duly directed by the AGE (Advocacia). Geral do State), meaning that if there was no influence, there would be no manifestation of this body,” he wrote. It also justifies that the Institute has already evaluated the project.

As Peres wrote in the document sent to the Public Prosecution Office, the last approval issued by Iepha is from December 2018 and refers to the analysis of the initial project submitted by Thames in 2014, which was submitted at the company’s request in 2019.

The project that obtained the Copam license was submitted to the government in 2020. “However, it is a process that is currently being processed, with a new administrative request for environmental licensing of the enterprise / activity, according to the data in the Environmental Licensing System / SLA, it is necessary to submit complete studies accompanied by All documents relevant to the assessment of the impact on cultural heritage for a new analysis by this institute”, explained Felipe Pires.

Cimad reports that the email exchange between Felipe Perez and Rodrigo Ribas is part of the environmental licensing process and is publicly recorded. The agency says that the letter addresses the request for information on the request made by the institute, the study report and the impact on cultural heritage, “in light of two conditions not taken into account by Iepha”: of that, there is legal evidence, approved by AGE, that ” “Information regarding the impact on protected cultural property must be provided by the project owner” and that there is no data on final or temporary inclusion in the venture area. The Secretariat informed the report that “in the absence of a listing, it precludes the request for an impact study on the listed properties.”

Felipe Cardoso is a white man with brown hair and a beard.  He wears a white shirt, black jacket, and pink pants.
Felipe Cardoso was acquitted two months after the letter was sent to the deputy

Felipe Pires was removed from the position after one year at the head of Eva. sought, the Government of Minas denied that the exemption was related to the complex situation involved in the Serra do Coral. “He left the post on request three months ago,” the note reads. “The rotation in Iepha’s presidency will give continuity to good management practices and transparent business execution,” he adds.

Peres informed, in a note, that his departure “was negotiated for a few days and, as defined by the state administration, ended on May 14, 2022.” “All my work in Iepha’s presidency was carried out in a technical manner, under the guidance of the government, guided by the legality and regularity of the operations under my responsibility,” he added.

Thames was contacted, but she did not respond to questions in the report.

family relationships

Cousin of mineraod director, Guilherme Machado, the new head of Iepha has a technical profile. In previous administrations, she was a supervisor and promotion director at the agency. Marilia also coordinated, in Ouro Preto, approval of the first master plan in Iphan and worked on the process that turned Diamantina into a cultural heritage of mankind.

On April 13, a month before she assumed Iepha’s presidency, she was appointed by Zema as a civil society representative to Conep, as the state registration process for Serra, which would prevent mining at the site, was halted. When she took over the administration of Iepha, she became the general secretary of the council.

Marilia is a white woman with brown hair, wearing a colorful blouse
Marilia Machado and attorney Guilherme Machado are cousins ​​on their father’s side.

The public Marilla’s father, Abel de Oliveira Machado, was found to be the brother of Guilherme’s father, Haroldo de Oliveira Machado. In his autobiography for Linkedin, Guilherme tells Machado that he has been the CEO of Thames since January 2012. He is also the legal advisor to Construtora Cowan, which is owned by Bruno and Saulo Wanderley, who own 83% of the shares in the mining company. In Federal Revenue, Guilherme Machado’s name appears as one of Thames’ partners.

According to Jornal O Tempo, the lawyer represents construction company Cowan in more than 20 cases, including at least 14 related to the collapse of the Batalha dos Guararapes bridge, in 2014, in the capital of Minas Gerais state.

The tipping process that could save Sierra has stopped

On March 21, a group of 10 of the 21 Conep Council members issued an open letter condemning the resistance of the Minas Gerais government “in its various instances” to activating the heritage of the state of Serra do Coral. They noted that “this resistance was formed from delegitimizing the excellent file that supports the listing to legal and administrative maneuvers to postpone the act.”

The study was completed in 2020 and approved by Iepha in early 2021. In May, the MPMG issued a recommendation to Secretary Leonidas to put it to a vote at the first Conep meeting. But according to council members, there were no calls that year.

“In light of this delay, only after a strong social mobilization and significant repercussions in the media, a council meeting was held on December 21, 2021, but the protection of Serra da Coral was not included as an agenda item, and the matter is treated as a mere report questioning the The dossier passed by Iepha herself and whose examination extends to more than six months and even to propose an alternative, that there will be time to estimate the “economic effects” of the act, a measure never seen in any act of tipping,” the members of the Council denounced.

The government, through the state’s Department of Culture and Tourism, reported that prior to submitting the study to Conep, “the included municipalities (Nova Lima, Sapara and Belo Horizonte) questioned the consequences in their territories”. “In order to broaden the discussion and add contributions to the studies, as well as to ensure the emergence of municipalities, Iepha and the MPMG agreed to add the term potential straw commitment,” it says in a note. “At the moment, contacts and meetings between the directors of Belo Horizonte, Nova Lima and Sabara have already been carried out, and new technical rounds are scheduled until at least August,” he adds.

Serra do Curral’s registration file is the result of terms of commitment signed in 2017 by Iepha and MPMG. Serra do Curral has been listed by the Municipal Heritage of Belo Horizonte and the Instituto Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional (IPHAN), but only the state’s list will guarantee the full protection of the area. This is due to the fact that the identification of landmarks at the municipal level is limited to the metropolitan boundaries – the Thames project, for example, is located in Nova Lima, in the metropolitan area of ​​Belo Horizonte. On the other hand, the national area affects a very limited area of ​​the Sierra.

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