Indigenous peoples of the Amazon, resistance fighters and organizations affected by mercury contamination in rivers have announced that they will deliver a letter to President Luis Arce tomorrow denouncing the situation, the Bolivian Documentation and Information Center (Cedib) reported.
“This letter relates to the allegations made to the Bolivian state by United Nations rapporteurs Marcos Orellana (Toxic Substances and Human Rights) and José Francisco Cali Tzay (Indigenous Peoples’ Rights) expressing their deep concern about the human rights situation Expressed violations caused by the irregular use of mercury in the country, ”said a note from Cedib.
Orellana announced on Wednesday that Bolivia has become the center of the illegal mercury trade in the region.
“The fact that Bolivia has become the illegal mercury center, resulting in illegal mining in other countries in the region including Peru, Brazil, Colombia and others, and we express our concern about the lack of effective measures against mercury to address it in the face of these effects and also the lack of implementation of the Minamata Convention on mercury ”, said the rapporteur via Zoom from Italy.
The smuggling and illegal trafficking of mercury from Bolivia in recent years has fueled illegal mining in other Andean and Amazonian countries, with serious human rights implications. Studies on the need for mercury in Bolivia since 2015 have shown that there is a significant surplus of mercury illegally exported from Bolivia.