Mercury has catastrophic consequences on Bolivian indigenous peoples, UN experts say

Source: MercoPress
United Nations specialists have sent the Bolivian Government a “Letter of Allegations” after finding irregularities resulting from the unauthorized use of mercury which has brought up environmental and human rights consequences, it was reported Wednesday.

UN rapporteurs Marcos Orellana (toxic substances and human rights) and José Francisco Cali Tzay (rights of Indigenous Peoples) have signed the document in response to the complaint filed in August by the Bolivian Documentation and Information Center (Cedib), the International Pollutant Elimination Network (IPEN) in coordination with Reacción Climate.

The specialists have cited studies which showed high levels of mercury contamination in indigenous women between 18 and 44 years of age from the Esse Ejja indigenous group, settled along the Beni River basin, in areas where gold mining is common practice. These levels of mercury can cause brain damage, blindness, among other effects on the body, the specialists said. They also pointed out the implications of pollution in pregnant women, whose effects on the fetus can cause neurological disability, loss of IQ, in addition to damage to the kidneys and the cardiovascular system.