Paradigmatic cases of ecocide

Paradigmatic cases of ecocide

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By Payo Pauch

On the other hand, apparently government myopia has overwhelmed various state sectors, so instead of improving educational quality by promoting a friendly policy and respecting the environment, the Ministry of Education has deactivated the Directorate of Community and Environmental Education , undermining its institutional strengthening and the importance and priority of generating environmental awareness and ecological culture in Peruvian children and youth.

As long as the neoliberal policy persists, the extractive industries that operate in the country: mining, oil, gas, forestry, fishing, etc. They will continue to exploit our natural resources without limits of action, with lax laws and norms, with little environmental regulation and supervision, without territorial ordering, lack of corporate social responsibility, with governments subject to economic power, and the lack of a vision of a developing country sustainable.

It is in this environmental context of the country that there are emblematic cases of irresponsible extractivism typical of savage capitalism, some being the following.

Amazon raped

Peru maintains an anti-environmental leadership in oil concessions, 78% of the Amazon is divided to various oil companies, with the consequent depredation and contamination of its resources as well as the loss of its valuable biodiversity.

The basins of the Pastaza, Corrientes, Tigre and Marañón rivers have been declared in a state of environmental and health emergency, due to the imposition of this rampant and rapacious extractivism, condemning the Achuar, Awajun, Wampis, Kichwa, Urarina, and Kukama Kukamilla indigenous peoples. , among others, to survive with rivers and lakes contaminated by oil spills, depredated forests, polluting waste wells, sewage, companies such as Pluspetrol that refuses to recognize their environmental liabilities and an indigenous population that is unprotected and forgotten by the State, infringing their fundamental rights to health and a dignified life.

It is necessary to emphasize that 100% of Peru's oil and gas production is in foreign hands: 51.7% in foreign state companies, mainly from China and 48.3% in private operating companies (Perúpetro database) .

In contrast, the state-owned company Petroperú does not produce a single drop of oil, having to buy at an international price from the oil companies that operate in the country.

The height of state surrender!

Dying lakes

Lake Titicaca, located on the Collao plateau at 3,812 meters above sea level, is the highest navigable lake in the world, recognized by the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of great global importance.

The lake is dying due to contamination of its waters, causing a public health problem in the Puno Region, as well as the extinction of its flora and fauna due to the negligence and indolence of its political authorities.

A monitoring of the lake by the National Water Authority (ANA) in March 2014, confirms that it has a high concentration of phosphates (detergent and fats), organic matter, solid waste and heavy metals (arsenic, lead, copper, mercury etc.) for mining tailings, which exceeds environmental quality standards. Determining that there was no aquatic life in 17 km2 of the lake.

In particular, the interior bay of Puno is seriously contaminated as a result of the city's domestic wastewater discharges without proper treatment, which implies the absence of aquatic life and the presence of the "green lentil" that produces bad odors.

Similarly, the famous Chinchaycocha lake located at more than 4,000 meters above sea level, within the Junín National Reserve, where more than a hundred species of birds lived, its famous giant frogs, wild guinea pig, trout etc. and its extensive totorales, is in the process of extinction, with its waters seriously contaminated by the mining tailings of the companies Doe Rum, El Brocal, Volcán etc.

The aforementioned mining companies have caused serious environmental and social impacts due to mineral discharges, toxic gas emissions, wastes, to the detriment of the atmosphere, soil and water. It is estimated that around 80 thousand has. of crops are affected by water pollution.

Predatory mining

The mining map of Peru exactly matches the map of poverty. Regions such as Cajamarca, Huancavelica, Apurimac, with large corporations and mining companies are the poorest regions of the country, with ranges between 65 and 55% of rural poverty. Mining has not been able to generate growth, or greater employment, even less economic and social development of the affected areas, rather, great risks and socio-environmental impacts, with usurped, depredated and contaminated natural resources and growing social conflict.

Illegal mining being the most lethal, devastating and poisoning rivers, forests, lakes, flora, fauna, generating a wild predation, being the Madre de Dios Region the most impressive where it is calculated more than 60 thousand hectares of predated forests, showing surreal images. of extinct forests and still life.

Dirty wood

In the country, the illegal over-exploitation of Amazonian forests and the trafficking of timber, has caused serious impacts and socio-environmental conflicts. Every year approximately 113 thousand hectares of forests are lost, the Amazon being the most vulnerable and devastated area, with more than 8 million hectares deforested. The regions of San Martín, Amazonas and Loreto are the most affected, reaching uncontrollable situations.

Most of the illegal and selective logging of valuable species such as mahogany and cedar is extracted from the territories of native communities. Illegal loggers invade and loot their forest resources, often using indigenous forced labor practices, with the complicity and corruption of local authorities.

According to a study by the World Bank, 80% of the wood exported by Peru is of illegal origin, ending up in the main world markets such as China, the US, and Europe.

Lead cities

The mining city of La Oroya in the Junín Region, with more than 20 thousand inhabitants, is among the 10 most polluted cities in the world.

For decades it was exposed to high levels of contamination, a product of the irresponsibility of ecocidal mining companies that poison the air, soil and water with heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, mercury, radionuclides, among others, causing serious health problems in its inhabitants. Thus, 98% of children under 12 years of age survive with high levels of lead in their blood.

Likewise, the city of Cerro de Pasco, capital of the Pasco Region, is another city seriously affected by the depredation and contamination of the Volcán mining company, for which the central government plans to relocate about 100,000 inhabitants to a new area.

The environmental calamity that the mining company causes when carrying out its zinc and lead exploitation work in the middle of the city and in the open pit, has dire consequences on the health of its inhabitants, as well as unproductive lands due to contamination, 80% of the available water consumed by the mining, the constant explosions, and that damn toxic dust that covers the houses. It can literally be said that the mine slowly devours the city, in the face of government indolence and the impunity and abuses of the mining company.

Killing scourge

Peru is currently the world's leading producer of cocaine, displacing Colombia as a supplier of this deadly scourge. It has one of the largest areas of coca cultivation and produces approximately 500 tons of cocaine each year, the processing center being the valleys of the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro rivers (VRAEM), without the different governments having been able to eradicate this activity criminal, due to the lack of adequate policies and strategies to combat drug trafficking.

As Róger Rumrrill says, "Ayacucho in particular and Peru in general, is today the most gigantic laundromat for drug trafficking money in Latin America" ​​(Diario Uno 02-08-15).


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