At least 13 regions are affected by metal poisoning, usually the result of mining activity. In 2017 those affected have formed the Plataforma Nacional de Afectados por Metales Toxicos to help force the authorities to attend their complaints.

More than 50 representatives from the regions concerned came together in Lima last week under this umbrella. They succeeded in obtaining a commitment from two vice-ministers (those of environmental management and territorial governance) to present their proposals to the prime minister and to ask for the establishment of a multi-sectorial commission to consider the problem.

The representatives stressed the harm to human health and to the environment from contamination and the need for an integrated approach from government. While there have been steps taken to document the problem, there is an urgent need to provide medical attention for those suffering the consequences of metal poisoning. Steps also need to be taken to prevent future contamination.