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.
• Despite having knowledge of contamination by and exposure to toxic metals, and the health risks that this implies, the state has not implemented the necessary measures in order to ensure that the population of Cuninico and Espinar has access to adequate health services that can provide specialised healthcare to people exposed to toxic metals and other harmful substances.
• Although there is evidence that the only water sources in Espinar and Cuninico are contaminated with toxic metals, the Peruvian state has still not provided the communities with access to safe drinking water, putting their lives at risk.
• Despite the evidence of contamination and exposure to toxic metals in Cuninico and Espinar, the state has not implemented the necessary measures to determine the cause of this contamination or to bring it under control.
• The state has failed in its duty to provide adequate health information to the communities of Cuninico and Espinar. The state has not yet sufficiently informed affected individuals about the results of the tests for heavy metals in their communities, or about the consequences of having harmful substances in their bodies and water sources. This lack of information has prevented the communities from making informed decisions about their health.
• With regard to its particular obligations towards Indigenous Peoples, the state has failed in a number of ways, notably in its duty to provide resources for Indigenous Peoples to establish, organize and control culturally appropriate health services appropriate to their needs.