Washington (Agenzia Fides) - "A U.S.-owned smelter has contaminated air, soil and water in the city of La Oroya, in Peru. The fact deserves monitoring and corrective measures by the U.S. Congress, according to a Peruvian Bishop who presented the testimony to the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights, on July 19 ": thus begins the note sent to Fides Agency from the Episcopal Conference of the United States of America, adding that the La Oroya metallurgical complex has been owned by the U.S. company Doe Run since 1997.
His Exc. Mgr. Pedro Ricardo Barreto, SJ, Archbishop of Huancayo and president of the Department of Justice and Solidarity of the Latin American Episcopal Conference (CELAM), after having submitted his application to the Subcommittee of the House, speaking to reporters said that the Congress "can play a vital role and that gives hope, in solidarity with the people of Peru, respecting environmental standards and controls, so that humans can live with dignity and recover a healthy environment. "
"Surely the people of Peru, its employees and residents, must share the benefits of the mining industry and not be harmed by such activities," said the Archbishop. "The environmental degradation of damages the population’s health, it poisons the air and rivers, transforms the fertile agricultural land so that it cannot be cultivated." Archbishop Barreto also reported to the international press that the mining complex has been operating for 87 years, and for 65 it was run by U.S. companies, "therefore the United States Congress has a responsibility not legal, but ethical, to cooperate with the Peruvian government to require environmental controls. " Archbishop Barreto’s trip was sponsored by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). (CE) (Agenzia Fides 20/7/2012)