SAO PAULO Protests by Brazilian Indians paralyzed operations at the railway serving mining giant Vale's Carajás mine on Tuesday, in the latest episode hampering the world's largest iron ore producer.
According to a statement, a group of Indians seeking to assert land property rights seized control of a portion of the railway linking the municipalities of Mineirinho and Auzilândia in the northern state of Maranhão.
The railway, known as EFC, is halted. It transports passengers as well as ore extracted from the giant Carajás mine in the neighboring state of Pará.
"Vale regrets any type of violent demonstrations that puts in risk the lives of its employees, passengers using the railway and its operations," the statement said.
Social unrest affecting Vale's operations is not a novelty, but tension had eased in recent years after the company stepped up social spending in depressed areas next to its mines.
(Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Gary Hill)