Jesuit Archbishop Pedro Baretto (Archdiocese of Huancayo) has received death threats for his recent statement calling for responsible environmental regulation for a multi-metallic smelter in La Oroya, Peru. The smelter has been operated by Doe Run Peru a subsidiary of Renco Group (US privately held company) and was forced to shut down in 2009 after pressure from Church leaders. Recently there have been moves to re-open the operation without the necessary environmental improvements, which prompted letter from Archbishop Baretto and the ensuing threat.
La Oroya has been described as one of the most polluted places in the world. Sitting atop the Andes mountains in central Peru, it was reported in 2007 that 99% of children have blood levels that exceed acceptable limits (Time Magazine).
The Ignatian Solidarity Network will share further updates on the environmental advocacy efforts and Archbishop Baretto in the coming weeks, including any advocacy requests from those working on this issue in Peru.
ARTICLES RELATED TO LA OROYA SITUATION:
3/14/12 - Archbishop in Peru threatened for calling for responsible environmental regulation of smelter
Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace
11/27/11 – Inside Ira Rennert’s dirtiest businesses
Crain’s New York Business
4/24/09 - Peruvian archbishop urges president to clean up town near smelter
Catholic News Service
2007 - The World’s Most Polluted Places
Time Magazine Specials
6/5/09 - Peru smelter pollution at crisis point