Various Indigenous communities in the Amazon and Andes regions of Peru are experiencing health crises: they are exposed to and their only sources of water are contaminated with toxic metals, and the Peruvian State has not acted to address the situation.
Studies have demonstrated that the main water sources that these communities depend on are contaminated and that the residents of the communities are exposed to toxic metals and other chemical substances that are harmful to human health. Faced with these realities, the fact that the Peruvian State has failed to provide these communities with safe drinking water or with adequate healthcare constitutes a violation of their right to health.
• Develop and implement, in a coordinated manner, Emergency Health Plans to address the effects of exposure to heavy metals and other chemicals in Cuninico and Espinar. These plans should:
- be developed, implemented, and monitored with the participation of experts in harmful metals and representatives of the affected communities; and
- include concrete strategies to ensure communication and accountability to the communities of Cuninico and Espinar.
• Ensure that health facilities serving the Indigenous communities of Cuninico and Espinar are staffed by personnel trained in providing diagnosis and health care to people exposed to heavy metals and other chemicals, in accordance with national Clinical Guidelines and international standards.
• Ensure, as a matter of urgency, that, as a component of the right to health, the Indigenous community of Cuninico and campesino communities of Espinar have permanent access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
• Carry out an investigation in order to identify and make public the cause of the contamination of the water sources in the communities of Cuninico and Espinar, with a view to bringing it under control.
• Respect the right to free, prior and informed consent of the communities involved in medical investigations and ensure that the results are processed and delivered within an appropriate timeframe that has been agreed with the communities evaluated.