Thursday, March 21, 2013

Toxic, more toxic, La Oroya – learning the comparison of pollution

I’ve visited La Oroya a couple of years ago, just enough time to look at the Doe Run complex. La Oroya is dominated by the metallurgical complex and has a long history of pollution. The Peruvian governments failed in the past to protect the health of the citizens there. The air bears high levels of contamination (lead, cadmium, arsenic, and sulphur dioxide). The landscape around La Oroya is dried out and at an altitude of 3,745 m (12,287 ft) [] agricultural pursuits have natural limitations. So the people there have to rely on work at Doe Run Peru, which is a subsidiary of the US holding company Renco.

The smelter of Doe Run

The township of La Oroya

Pedro Barreto, Archbishop of Huancayo, raised an alert that the right of health of the inhabitants of La Oroya is threatened. I’d rather say that the rights are violated by Doe Run and also by the Peruvian government in protecting the rights of the investors rather than the rights of the population and that health problems are already evident. “The smelter emitted such enormous quantities of pollution that many residents now suffer from chronic respiratory illnesses and nearly all children in the city have lead poisoning.” [].

Landscape out of La Oroya

Read more on: Metallurgical Complex of La Oroya: When investor protection threatens human rights [].

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