This publication is the product of a careful analysis of official environmental monitoring reports submitted for the Doe Run multi-metal smelter to the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines between 1996 and 2001.
By finally filling the void in public information about contamination levels in La Oroya, this work demonstrates that the right to access information is an essential pillar of citizen participation. Only with these type of facts in hand can civil society protect itself against the powerful interests of giant mining companies like Doe Run.
The reader will come to understand the severe health problems and risks suffered by the local population and particulary the children in La Oroya. But the authors go beyond this. They suggest the implementation of corrective and preventive measures that will require the participation of not only the company but also the Peruvian State. These are actions that cannot be postponed if we are to guarantee the human right to health, improve quality of life, and permit development in Peru.
The authors also provide a legal analysis of environmental protection in the minerals sector, and recommendations for making this system more effective.
Above all, this publication is an invitation to take meaningful and timely steps toward solving the extraordinary environmental and human health problems in La Oroya.