RIO DE JANEIRO, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Rio samba school Portela, one of the oldest samba schools in the city, won the Carnival championship on Wednesday.
Portela, headquartered in the working-class neighborhood of Madureira, chose the freshwater springs and humanity's relations with rivers as its theme.
In the parade, Portela presented how civilizations grew around rivers, such as Egypt and Mesopotamia. They also showed how water is considered important to several religions, to the economy and human activity and survival in general.
The samba school dedicated an entire float to the environmental tragedy of the Doce River after the collapse of a tailings dam owned by mining company Samarco.
A mudslide caused by the dam's rupture destroyed a small community, killing 19 people, and poisoning the Doce River. The contaminated water traveled down the Doce River to the Atlantic, causing environmental and economic damage.