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Stopping a Peruvian Smelter from Emitting Toxic Pollutants

Doe Run Peru’s smelter emits such enormous quantities of pollution that many residents suffer from chronic respiratory illnesses and nearly all the children in the city have lead poisoning.

La Oroya is one of the most contaminated cities on the planet. Doe Run Peru’s smelter emits such enormous quantities of pollution that many residents suffer from chronic respiratory illnesses and nearly all the children in the city have lead poisoning.

Photo courtesy of AIDA

What's at Stake

The people—especially the children—of La Oroya in the Peruvian Andes, suffer terrible health effects from air pollution emitted by a lead smelter operated by an American company.

Case Overview

The Interamerican Commission on Human Rights, prompted by Earthjustice and its partner AIDA, has repeatedly urged the Peruvian government to come to the rescue of the people—especially the children—of La Oroya in the Peruvian Andes, who suffer terrible health effects from air pollution emitted by a lead smelter operated by an American company.

In fact, the groups first went to the Peruvian courts and secured an order for medical treatment for the victims, but the Peruvian health ministry ignored the court order. It has also ignored requests from the human rights commission.

The effort to rescue the people of La Oroya continues.

Case Updates

April 5, 2011 | Feature

Human Rights And The Environment

Earthjustice uses the U.S. courts and international tribunals to hold corporations and governments accountable for human rights violations resulting from environmental devastation.

December 14, 2010 | Feature

Latin American Environmentalists Risk Imprisonment, Torture

Despite dangerous circumstances, communities and nonprofit organizations are still courageously fighting to defend the environment in Latin America. Established groups like CEMDA and AIDA are continuing their work and indigenous communities are banding together to preserve the region’s natural heritage.

December 14, 2010 | Feature

Q&A with Astrid Puentes, AIDA Co-Director

From offices in Mexico City, Astrid Puentes serves as co-director of Earthjustice’s sister organization, the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA). We recently chatted with Puentes to discuss AIDA’s mission and the outlook for environmental advocacy in Latin America.

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