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1 Jun 2007

Mike Hager, Santiago Times (USA)

Chile: Chile must pay US$5.4 million to Aricans living amid toxic waste

In a landmark case, Chile’s Supreme Court ruled this week that the state must compensate 356 residents of two slums in…Arica for health problems brought on by years of exposure to open deposits of toxic waste. Promel, the...company responsible for the importation of the toxic materials, cannot compensate the plaintiffs because the company no longer exists…The court ruled that the citizens…each receive reparations of more than US$15,000 for physical and emotional damages brought on by heavy metal poisoning…The court ruled that the Ministry of Health offered the residents no protection and did not meet its obligations to the Sanitary Code, the General Law on Environmental Areas and the Basel Convention Treaty. Chile ratified the international treaty in…1992 with the aim of limiting the movements of hazardous waste from developed countries to less developed countries…as well as managing existing hazardous waste in an environmentally conscious manner...