Amnesty adds its voice to contamination claims

24 September 2017

In a report released this month, Amnesty International (AI) documents how communities suffer the consequences of high concentrations of toxic metals in their water supplies. The report states that the Peruvian authorities have failed in their duty to protect Indigenous communities by failing to provide adequate healthcare or to take steps to identify the causes of contamination.

The report, entitled ‘A Toxic State’, analyses the plight of indigenous communities in Cuninico (in Loreto region) and Espinar (Cuzco). It argues that the only sources of fresh water are contaminated by toxic metals harmful to human health.

According to Amnesty International’s Secretary General, “the fact that the Peruvian authorities choose to do very little in the face of evidence that hundreds of Indigenous people have been exposed to toxic metals is not only cruel, but a violation of their right to health”. The government declared a public health emergency earlier in the year, but no real steps appear to have been taken to provide adequate healthcare to the local communities affected.

All news

  • PSG Aims

    The Peru Support Group exists to promote social inclusion, sustainable development and the observance of human rights in Peru. To that end the PSG highlights shortcomings in observance of established norms, whether international or local in nature, in its research, advocacy and publications. In so doing, it underscores the relationships that exist within the political system, how institutions work, and the effectiveness of policies that aim to reduce poverty and inequality within the context of sustainable development.

  • Historical Overview

    Over the past century Peru has suffered a series of autocratic governments and a civil war in which nearly 70,000 people died. Many of the country's ongoing political and social problems are a legacy of its somewhat turbulent past. 

  • Human Rights

    Human rights violations were widespread during the twenty years after the initiation of armed conflict in 1980. Efforts to convict perpetrators since the war's end have made only limited progress. Today, concerns remain over the treatment of those engaged in social protest, particularly against strategically important investment projects.

  • Why join the PSG?

    • Keep up to date with latest news and developments in Peru
    • Learn about key issues of poverty, development and human rights in Peru
    • Support the work of the Peru Support Group

    Become a member