Ira Rennert is an American Billionaire industrialist with a long, documented track record of severe environmental abuses in the United States. Government agencies have called him America’s “worst private polluter”. Now Ira is doing the same thing in Peru.
In 1997 Ira created the Doe Run Peru company when he bought the mining smelter in La Oroya for a bargain basement price on the condition he drastically reduces its toxic emissions. But he hasn’t. It’s so bad that for the second year in a row La Oroya has made it to a top ten list, ranking alongside Chernobyl, as one of the World’s Worst Polluted Places.
Trapped in the narrow mountain canyons the 2,000,000 pounds a day of pollution literally creates a gas chamber for La Oroya’s population causing irreversible brain damage, cancer, and even death. The contamination is so rampant that over 99% of the 12,000 children living there have lead poisoning.
Ten years have past and Ira Rennert has yet to fulfill his environmental promises, claiming a lack of profits. During this same period his companies have siphoned off over 100 million dollars in “fees” which he used to help build a huge palace with 29 bedrooms and 39 bathrooms – making it one of the largest houses in the world.
Exposure to lead is shown to cause anemia, high blood pressure, developmental delays, behavioral problems, decreased intelligence, central nervous system damage, and even death. For the second year in a row La Oroya has been named one of the top ten World’s Worst Polluted Places, alongside such infamous catastrophes as Chernobyl.
The Peruvian government is afraid of cracking down on Ira Rennert, fearing it may scare off other foreign investments. But this inaction only encourages more abuse by international corporations. One of the first responsibilities of any government is to protect the health of its citizens. Help us convince this government to do the right thing.