Brazilian police in the state of Minas Gerais have accused six Samarco executives and a contractor of murder in connection with the deaths of 19 people caused by a burst tailings dam at a mine in November.

The Samarco chief executive at the time of the incident, Ricardo Vescovi, was among those accused. In Brazil only prosecutors, and not police, can formally bring criminal charges but public accusations often anticipate charges being filed. The police, in a statement, accused the mine executives of “qualified homicide”, the murder…