Toxic Pollution

Having to do with toxic elements.

The government of Peru has proposed increasing the legal amount of sulfur dioxide in the air by more than 12 times and doubling the allowed level of particulate matter, substances known to cause serious health harms. The proposal ignores both scientific evidence and the government’s obligation to...Read more

Pablo and his daughter in front of the metal smelter in La Oroya in 2008. | Credit: Giuliano Koren

A group of 65 residents joined as petitioners in a case AIDA brought before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights 10 years ago. Today, they still wait for justice.
In May 2016, the IACHR required the Peruvian State to protect the life and integrity of 14 additional people affected by the heavy pollution of La Oroya’s metal smelter. Just last week, medical examinations began to evaluate the levels of heavy metals in the beneficiaries.Read more
The Peruvian government must adequately address the environmental, public health and employment situation in La Oroya.Read more
We call on the President-elect of Peru to take into account, in any assessment of or decision about La Oroya, the rights of the population affected by the city’s severe pollution.Read more
Air pollution

Air pollution. Credit: Gianluca Di Natale/Fickr/Creative Commons.

Smog causes continuous environmental alerts in Mexico City. But did you know a legal framework exists to combat the pollutants that cause it?
The Commission did so by extending the precautionary measures originally granted in 2007. The decision arrives six years after it was requested, and confirms the severity of health deterioration in La Oroya. It also confirms that the life and integrity of affected people are at risk, and require...Read more
Reports
The report (in Spanish) and its executive summary (available in English) review the institutional, legislative, and regulatory frameworks, as well as existing government programs related to the control and monitoring of SLCPs, in three strategic countries of Latin America: Brazil, Chile and Mexico...Read more
AIDA attorneys Rodrigo Sales and Maria José Veramendi traveled to La Oroya to meet with representatives in our case before the IACHR, alongside research students from the Yale Environmental Clinic.

AIDA attorneys Rodrigo Sales and Maria José Veramendi traveled to La Oroya, alongside research students from the Yale Environmental Clinic, to meet with the residents represented in our case before the IACHR.

Truthfully, La Oroya didn’t seem very nice at first. But I quickly came to realize that the beauty of a place comes not only from its natural and man-made attractions; it comes also, and perhaps more importantly, from the beauty of its people.
Girl in La Oroya

Girl in La Oroya, Perú. Credit: Giuliano Koren.

Juana is tired. She and her neighbors have been waiting eight years for a ruling; eight years for a decision that could better their lives, clean their air, attend to their sick children and families. What began as a courageous and hopeful quest for justice has become a discouraging waiting game...