2017 - Ongoing
Cerro de Pasco is the highest city in the world at almost 4,500 meters high.
Over the years the city has developed around the open-cast mine called “El Tajo” (the Cut), a 2 km long crater and over 900 meters deep from which lead, copper, zinc, gold and silver were extracted.
The extraction of minerals is accompanied by the emission of heavy metals that contaminate the water and the surrounding area, causing a strong impact on the health of the population.
Hair analysis performed by Source International have shown that the average concentration of lead in the hair of children of Cerro de Pasco is 36 times higher than the international reference standards and that due to the high concentration of heavy metals in the body 100% of the population should be hospitalized urgently.
Today the panorama of Cerro de Pasco is a continuous alternation of crumbling buildings and mountains of waste rocks from which toxic powders rise and from which acid waters emerge.
The only solution that has been proposed to date by the Peruvian government is a forced displacement of 80,000 inhabitants in another area of the Pasco region.