Latin American UpdatePublished by MAC on 2007-01-19
Latin American Update
19th January 2007
A large group of civil society representatives has called for a state of emergency to be declared around Doe Run's lead smelter in Peru. They claim that sulphur diocide and heavy metals emissions continue at unacceptably high levels, despite the US company's pledge to conform to basic safeguards.
Communities in Chile's Huasco Valley - site of the Pascua Lama project - have urged the government to file formal charges of environmental damage against Canada's Barrick Gold. They say that three glaciers have already been severely damaged by the company's exploration activities.
The world's fifth biggest mining company, UK-Swiss registered Xstrata, is leading the way in a spate of new proposals to dam pristine rivers in Chilean Patagonia.
Mercury contamination has been identified in Mexico, six years after its mining was officially halted. Some families continue to mine the deadly metal on a smallscale, while there are reportedly current proposals to re-open some of the abandoned pits.