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Monday, June 01, 2009

Andean indigenous propose international tribunal for “environmental crimes”

Mercopress, 1 June 2009

Latinamerican indigenous peoples are proposing the creation of an international court to address actions which harm the environment, according to the regional representatives meeting in the Peruvian highlands city of Puno

The tribunal according to the proposal would depend from the United Nations and its members named by countries belonging to the world organization.

Indigenous representatives from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile drafted the initiative arguing that “aggression” against the environment, by multinational corporations has become one of the most serious problems facing Indian communities.

Among the emblematic cases named is the Peruvian city of La Oroya which, according to international data, has become one of the world’s ten most contaminated mainly because of the mines exploitations by the US Corporation Doe Run.

The coordinator of the meeting Miguel Palacín Quispe from Peru said that the tribunal proposal would be improved in a coming meeting to be held in Bolivia.

Doe Run Peru has operated the La Oroya smelter – which produces lead, zinc, copper, silver and gold, as well as by-products such as sulphuric acid and indium – in the central region of Junin since 1997 and the Cobriza copper mine in the Huancavelica region since 1998.

Doe Run Peru which is the country's fourth largest metals exporter said last week that completing a mandatory environmental cleanup at La Oroya smelter before the October deadline would be "difficult."

When Doe Run Peru bought the smelter in 1997, it was expected to take 10 years to clean up La Oroya but in 2006 the company got a three-year extension, which expires in October 2009.

The company alleges to have already has spent 307 million on remediation and total costs will hit 500 million US dollars.

1 comment:

  1. What is implications of murder of some 25 indigenous in Peru?