Environmental health at stake in first corporate attack under Peru NAFTA deal

Two years since the Peru NAFTA deal was implemented, a United States multinational is fighting the Peruvian government over the nation’s environmental health policies after being hit with a law suit filed on the behalf of 137 Peruvian children who suffered lead poisoning near the company’s metallurgical complex in La Oroya, Peru.

From Public Citizen:

Details about the Renco v. Peru case are scarce, but we know that the company involves a U.S. multinational that got upset after getting smacked with a U.S. lawsuit filed on behalf of 137 Peruvian children who have suffered from lead poisoning. Renco is now claiming $800 million from irritants related to its commitment to clean up the environmental mess on its site.

According to the case materials from the Missouri court case, Renco is a New York corporation that in turn owns DR Acquisition Corp., a Missouri corporation, which in turn owns Doe Run Resources Corporation – the second largest lead producer in the world with over $125 million in profits in 2006. Doe Run operates a Peruvian subsidiary through a Cayman Islands corporation.

In 1997, Doe Run and Renco bought a metallurgical complex in La Oroya, Peru in October 1997. The Missouri case was filed on behalf of 137 children that live in and around the Peruvian village of La Oroya. It is claimed that these children suffered lead poisoning as a result of the company’s actions, amounting to negligence, civil conspiracy and liability. Among other specific claims, the plaintiffs argue that Doe Run sought to “avoid the cost of instituting procedures at and purchasing equipment for Defendants’ metallurgical complex… that would protect public health and the health of the minor plaintiffs.”

Metallurgical complex in La Oroya, Peru

Read full article here.

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