Help Indigenous Communities Confront a Toxic Water Crisis in Peru
By Tara Scurr and Kathy Price
The 600 members of the Indigenous community of Cuninico in Peru’s Amazon region have a spiritual relationship with the Marañón river. They depend on it for drinking, washing and preparing food. Fish caught in the river is their main source of protein.
Following an oil spill from a pipeline near a tributary of the river, women like Juana Otejón report that they and their children have suffered debilitating health problems including stomach pains, fever, pain urinating, skin problems and numerous miscarriages.
In the Andean region of Espina, Indigenous communities are also facing a terrifying health crisis.
Studies reveal alarming levels of lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury in their bodies. Studies have also shown that their only sources of water have been contaminated with toxic metals.
There is scientific consensus that exposure to these toxic metals is harmful to health and that the impacts become more serious with prolonged exposure.
Yet Peruvian authorities have failed to publicly identify the sources of the contamination and stop the flow of toxins. Neither have they provided adequate health care or access to safe drinking water.
Please stand with Indigenous women and families in Cuninico and Espina to call for action without delay.
1. SIGN AND SHARE THE ONLINE PETITION prepared by AI Peru
2. GATHER SIGNATURES ON OUR PRINT PETITION to the President of Peru
World Water Day is coming up on March 22nd. Join a community event and gather signatures calling for the right to a healthy environment, clean water and health care for Indigenous communities in Peru impacted by water polluted with toxic metals. Feel free to gather signatures before March 22nd. Please send them to our office as soon as possible.
3. TWEET your concern and a call for action
Active on Twitter? Join us to call on Peru’s President and Minister of Health for action now.
Be sure to use the campaign hashtag #ToxicState. Around March 22, also use the hashtag #WorldWaterDay.
From Canada, I call on President @ppkamigo @PPKbancada : #ACTNOW to stop #water health crisis for #Indigenous people of Cuninico & Espinar #Peru #ToxicState https://t.co/PNhZwZHhqq pic.twitter.com/pBByMiCLoY
— Kathy Price (@KPriceAmnesty) January 13, 2018
- #Indigenous Peoples in #Peru face cruel choice: drink toxic metals in #water or go thirsty #ToxicState @ppkamigo @Minsa_Peru @fzavalal http://www.toxicstate.pe
- #Indigenous peoples of Cuninico & Espinar want to live free from toxic metals but their state is failing them http://www.toxicstate.pe #ToxicState @ppkamigo @Minsa_Peru @fzavalal
4. LEARN MORE
Meet the courageous Indigenous women of Cuninico and Espinar, who are standing up for their rights and their children.
>>>A Toxic State: Violations of the Right to Health of Indigenous Peoples of Cuninico and Espinar, Peru