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.