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In the News: Context April 16, 2024

Peru pollution ruling a ‘gigantic step’ for environmental justice

Jacob Kopas, Attorney, International Program: “This case is the first time that the court is … really recognising a connection between the health of an environment and the health of human communities. Now with this precedent, we can point to it and say yes you have access to justice – this has been recognised as…

Residents of La Oroya, Peru, hold a sign that reads "Doe Run, it is enough of environmental crimes" during a march through the streets of Lima demanding medical assistance and a halt to the pollution generated by mining in Peru. (Fotoholica Press / LightRocket via Getty Images)
Article March 28, 2024

Historic Court Decision Puts Big Polluters on Notice in Latin America

An international court ruled in favor of the people of La Oroya, Peru, finding that the government violated their right to a healthy environment.

A smelter in La Oroya, Peru has polluted the small Andean city for generations. (Mitchell Gilbert for AIDA)
Press Release: Victory March 22, 2024

Inter-American Court Ruling on La Oroya Case Sets Key Precedent for the Protection of a Healthy Environment

The Court found Peru responsible for violating the rights of residents of La Oroya, who have been exposed to unsafe levels of toxic contamination for generations

Press Release: Victory August 19, 2009

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to Hear La Oroya Case

City extensively contaminated by Doe Run Peru Smelter

Press Release April 9, 2008

Doe Run Smelter in Peru Loses Environmental Certification

Children living near smelter contaminated with high levels of lead

Press Release: Victory September 5, 2007

Human Rights Body Calls on Peru to Protect Citizens from Contamination by American-owned Smelter

Virtually all the children in La Oroya suffer from lead poisoning

Press Release April 24, 2007

U.S. Smelter's Pollution Now Human Rights Issue for Peru

IACHR to examine Peru’s responsibility for contamination from Doe Run Corp. facility

document March 21, 2007

Human Rights Petition on La Oroya to IACHR (en español )

Human rights petition submitted to IACHR regarding human rights violations at La Oroya, Peru (in Spanish)

Press Release March 21, 2007

Human Rights Commission May Examine Violations at La Oroya, Peru

Children breathe sulfur dioxide pollution at 300 times level permitted by WHO

Press Release June 30, 2006

Peru Supreme Court Demands Government Protect Public Health from Doe Run Smelter in La Oroya

U.S.-owned smelter continues to contaminate region

Press Release April 14, 2005

Judge Orders Measures to Protect Public Health in La Oroya Peru

American-owned smelter has poisoned nearly everyone

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)
case May 5, 2003

Stopping a Peruvian Smelter from Emitting Toxic Pollutants

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,…