Leonardo Merçon

Leonardo Merçon is a Brazilian wildlife and conservation photographer. He graduated as Graphic Designer at the Federal University of…


About Lágrimas do Rio Doce: Tears of the Sweet River

On the 5th of November 2015 the town Bento Rodrigues in Minas Gerais was swept away by 62m3 metres of toxic mud from the collapse of two mining dams. The toxic residue entered the river Rio Doce and oozed downriver, polluting the water supply of hundreds of thousands of residents, killing millions of fish, birds, mammals until finally spilling into the ocean.

The biggest environmental catastrophe in the history of Brazil is the result of a corrupt government and continuous non-compliance of environmental laws.

The project Lágrimas do Rio Doce (Translation: Tears of the Sweet River) is an independent photographic-audiovisual production aiming to show the real consequences of this tragedy for biodiversity, local populations and traditional communities that depend on the river to survive. The river is rooted in the culture of fishermen, native americans (índios) and riverside populations. Through this project, these communities will be given a voice.