Dossier Carajás – Corruption and Disregard” is a documentary divided into two parts that shows the abandonment of the population that lives on the margins of one of the largest railways in the world: the Carajás Railroad. Our team crossed more than 2,000 pages of documents and discovered a million-dollar scheme to embezzle public money involving dozens of the poorest cities in Brazil, money that should have been invested in improvements to the population due to the impacts caused by the railroad.
The Carajás Railroad is one of the largest railroads in the world. With almost 1000km in length, it is operated by the mining company VALE. The trains, which carry iron ore for export, cut through 27 Brazilian cities. With this documentary, we show that wealth passes through the window of poor people, every day. On the other hand, it causes environmental, social and health damage. In addition, We discovered and denounced a billionaire corruption scheme that embezzled thousands of reais – money that should be invested to repair the damage caused by the Carajás Railroad. We gave a voice to thousands of Brazilians who suffer every day and are invisible to the government.
We traveled to dozens of cities with a team consisting of four people. We carry cinematographic television equipment and additional cameras like GoPro, Osmo and drone.
What was the hardest part of this project?
There were several difficult moments. Initially, the agenda was to show the social and environmental impacts caused by the Carajás Railroad. During the investigations carried out, we found that there was much more behind it. For three months, we immersed ourselves in public and private documents. From Monday to Monday, all the dedication of our routines went into this. With each discovery of embezzlement of public money, an uprising.
When we traveled to the affected municipalities, we had numerous difficult moments. They are unstructured and very dangerous places for journalists. Furthermore, following the suffering of these people closely was very sad. We witness the death of a woman who could be alive today if she had the necessary health care—a scar we will carry for the rest of our lives.
What can others learn from this project?
Laura Ferla Tuma is a journalist and bachelor of laws, passionate about telling stories from different perspectives and multicultural contexts. Winner of the One World Media International Award (2021), in the Television Documentary category, as an investigative reporter and feature of the Special Reports Center at Record TV.