February 27, 2020 100

Deadly waste from raw materials | DW Documentary

Deadly waste from raw materials | DW Documentary

You can’t see it, but these children
have poison in their blood. The director of the primary school in Cerro
de Pasco in Peru says learning and concentration difficulties
are usually the first sign. -When they sneeze, blood often comes out
of their noses. They struggle to pay attention for longer stretches of time. I’m
sure it’s due to the lead in their blood. The school is right next to
a gigantic open-cast mine: the crater dominates the
town of Cerro de Pasco. The global economy is
hungry for raw materials. But this comes at a high cost.
One that many South Americans have to pay? some even
with their lives. Cerro de Pasco is a town in the heart of
the Peruvian Andes in Peru and the site of a huge open-cast mine extracting zinc,
silver and lead for global markets. The mine is now owned by Swiss
commodities giant Glencore. Glencore recently paid several hundred
million dollars for it. But the people who live here
pay an even higher price. Cerro de Pasco lies at an altitude
of 4,300 meters. Locals absorb heavy metals into their bloodstreams
through the tap water. -The lead makes us tired. It
especially affects children. -My stomach hurts.
My head aches. -When I ask my children to solve a
problem, they quickly get tired. Next-door is a health center with a
poster that reads “Lead Campaign”. Everyone can get tested
for heavy metals there. -We are measuring elevated values for
all heavy metals, lead, cadmium, potassium and mercury. All
residents have levels that clearly exceed the World
Health Organization’s limits. Peruvian journalists have
documented the worst cases: Children confined to wheelchairs because
their lead levels are four times too high. Scars from
operations. Doctor Fernando Osores has
researched heavy metal exposure. His study revealed
alarming results. -I found the most heavy metals
in children and pregnant women. The children have lead in their blood,
which means they have problems with nervous system development from a young
age, and reduced IQs as they get older. I have also discovered levels of
arsenic, which is carcinogenic. That’s not just my opinion: the World
Health Organization says that too. These diseases are directly linked to
Peru’s ruthless exploitation of natural resources for export. The
whole country is in its grip. We are on our way through a barren
landscape to the highest town in the world. You can smell the garbage long
before you even reach La Rinconada. Hundreds of tons of waste surround the
town in a ring several kilometers deep. The locals say the state has
little power in this town of 50,000 people perched 5,100
meters up in the Andes. Few are originally from
this inhospitable region. They came to this place to find gold. There
is more gold here than anywhere else. Entire families are in thrall to gold
fever, sifting through the waste from the mine to find tiny
fragments of gold dust. -None of the mines are official. Everyone’s
in it for themselves. Nobody has a permit. Not even the gold diggers who have
driven their mile-long shafts into the mountain. Ten years ago, the
gold boom attracted thousands of impoverished Peruvians to La Rinconada.
When Fortunato Chuque first arrived, just a few hundred people were
living in the town where nighttime temperatures can drop to
minus 20 degrees Celsius. -Someone told me back then that La
Rinconada had a future. It’s hard but I’ve stayed. I’ve been
here almost 24 years now. The mining companies have complete power.
If you don’t play by their rules, you get fired. Still,
Fortunato held out. Soon, he’ll have earned enough to leave
La Rinconada for good. But working in the shafts has left its
mark on the 59-year-old. -There’s particulate matter everywhere
in the mines. Many colleagues die of pneumoconiosis. Or from gas poisoning
caused by the underground explosions. Once a month, Fortunato
sells his gold to a trader. It’s usually worth about
a thousand euros. That’s a pretty good
income for Peru. Here in the Wild West, people can at least
scrape a living. But elsewhere, they are paying for raw material
exports with their lives. A burst dam in Brumadinho in Brazil
in early 2019 had fatal consequences. Vale was the mining company
responsible for the disaster. Rescue workers dug desperately
through the mud and sludge to find survivors among the 300
people reported missing. More often than not,
they only found bodies. Some had even been
buried in a bus. -A helper saw something
blue shimmering. He dug with his hands and found
the tire of a bus. It was noon when the dam of the iron
ore mine collapsed without warning. An employee recorded this
video where he says: “All workers were sitting
at the lunch table.” The mudslide engulfed hundreds of
workers and residents below the reservoir. Brown-red — possibly toxic —
mud flooded the valley. The emergency services saved one young
couple in the nick of time. This woman also escaped
from the ruins. It took just one hour to devastate
the entire Brumadinho valley. Distraught relatives gathered at
an emergency response center. Many received trauma counseling. Most had to
learn that their brothers, fathers or uncles were still missing, so they waited,
even as hope of finding survivors waned. -We’ll stay here until we
find out what happened. -What’s happened is terrible.
This is negligence. The morning after the disaster, warning
sirens sounded again. People were scared a second mudslide was
imminent and fled to higher ground. -We heard the sirens at 5:30. That’s
when we came here with our IDs. Since then, we’ve been waiting, and
still have no information. The police blocked off a bridge and
the main road of Brumadinho. Nobody knew exactly what was going on, but it
was gradually becoming clear that the mining company Vale could no longer
guarantee Brumadinho was safe. -It would be even worse if
there were more casualties. That’s why they’re
sealing off the area. The rescuers had to stop their
work because of concerns that another dam above
could collapse. The delay angered the families desperately
waiting for news of their loved ones. Every moment
was precious. -I have had no information about my
husband. It’s been two days now. Hours later, they finally received the
all-clear signal for the second dam. The rescue work could continue.
Meanwhile, the people of Brumadinho were trying to come to terms with
the sheer scale of the disaster. Ana Rita’s 28-year-old nephew was in
the canteen when the mudslide hit. -He went to work and never came back. Now
he’s lying there. It’s incredibly sad. People prayed for the missing at the
church next door. But four days after the disaster, sorrow was turning
to anger at mine operator Vale. -This was no accident; it was a crime.
No amount of financial compensation will
bring our friends back. Vale is now under investigation by
Brazil’s Justice Department, which has frozen over two billion euros
of the company’s assets. -This is a human tragedy, because it
involves such a large number of victims. Environmental activists protesting
outside the company headquarters: They say the commodities giant
invested too little in safety and oversight. Vale is one of the world’s
biggest iron ore exporters. Many people have accused the company of
deliberately flirting with disaster in order to be able to meet the increased
global demand for iron ore. -Vale doesn’t own the land; the company
only has licenses to mine there. And yet they can’t even do
that without making mistakes, contaminating rivers
and killing people. Vale is now facing probably the biggest
crisis since it was founded 77 years ago. Vale used to be state-owned. The
growth in the global demand for iron ore led to a rapid expansion in the 1970s.
It even operates its own fleet of ships. -Vale grew to be so powerful during the
Brazilian military dictatorship. It was privatized in the 1990s, but the state
is still the majority shareholder. The 2009 economic crisis hit Vale hard.
The company, which is dependent on global demand, had to
lay off many workers. But the past few years have seen a
marked turnaround: Vale was able to cash in on increased demand for iron
ore in China and Europe and has become a heavyweight in the Brazilian
stock index. The company has massively expanded its mining activities and
generates billions in profits. Then, in November 2015, a dam belonging
to one of Vale’s subsidiaries collapsed. 19 people were killed, and Vale’s
operations came under increasing scrutiny. -As is so often the case in Brazil,
regulations and controls may be moving in the right direction, but
according to the law, there should have been three times as many inspectors in
the disaster area to effectively inspect the reservoirs as there actually were.
So you can hardly say that Brazil really takes environmental regulations
seriously —- which is just what the authorities had said just three days
before the accident. Although its laws are right, no government, neither left nor
right, has actually implemented them. After the Brumadinho tragedy, the
authorities suspected that a Brazilian subsidiary of Germany’s Tüv
Süd may have been partly to blame and arrested
two of its employees. Documents show that the two men had
certified the dam as safe just a few months earlier and the investigators
wanted to know why – but the dam may have burst due to factors that had only
come into play after the inspection. In December 2018, the regional
environmental agency issued the Vale Group with a permit classifying the
dam as a Level Four — in other words, medium – safety risk. But the minutes
of an earlier environmental commission show that the risk level had previously
been a Six: Heightened Risk. The environmental agency also
approved an expansion of mining activity. This was significant, because
it also involved work around the dam. Media reports cited this as an “express
permit.” It was issued just a few weeks before the accident, and foresaw a 70%
increase in production. An environmental activist from the disaster area accuses
the mine operator of negligence. -The Vale Group must have noticed
that something in the dam was out of whack because of its illegal activities
and then — a month before the accident — tried to get
retrospective approval. Environmental groups are calling
for more rigorous state oversight. -We can see there’s less oversight
because the environmental authorities have been massively undercut. Even
where the laws are clear, the control authorities do not have the resources
to enforce them. So hardly any checks are carried out – partly because
companies are exerting enormous pressure to prevent them.
The Vale Group has been making donations to
politicians for a long time. Anger about this has been rising
in Brumadinho, where they are also aware this wasn’t the
first mining disaster. Ana Rita, the aunt of the
28-year-old who died there, is scathing about the
lack of oversight. -The company knew that dam wasn’t
watertight. They should have fixed it. But they only think about
profit, not about us. Meanwhile, locals are left facing the
environmental impact. Reddish-brown tailings slurry has
contaminated the water. -We used to use this river. But now there
isn’t a river anymore. It’s finished. Locals like Vitor who rely on tourism are
worried about making ends meet. It’ll take months before the whole
area is decontaminated. It’s a disaster with both human and
environmental dimensions. A lot of questions still haven’t been answered
— especially about lax oversight and whether it was tolerated to
increase profit margins. Back in Cerro de Pasco, Peru?. Experts
say a fine layer of toxic particles has settled over these mountains. They come
from a nearby metal smelting plant. The chimney of the La Oroya smelter now
releases fewer sulfur-dioxide, lead and arsenic fumes into the air
than it used to. Just a few years ago, it was still
running at full blast. -It never bothered us. We
never left La Oroya anyway, so we thought everywhere
looked like this. The consequences of the air pollution
still haunt the residents, many of whom suffer from chronic diseases.
Blood lead levels are four times higher than the
WHO’s upper limits. Pablo has serious nerological
complaints but he still supports Yolanda in her fight for better
environmental standards. -At first they called us traitors. But
that never bothered me because people like Yolanda also supported us. The
Catholic Church and international organizations helped us to get the
Peruvian state to finally recognize the poisoning that affects us,
as well as our diseases. That is why operations in the La Oroya
smelter have been scaled back, although the complex hasn’t been
shut down completely and continues to contaminate the
area with heavy metals. Yolanda says the smelter’s legacy will
be felt for years to come. She’s meeting Constantin Bittner, who works for the
German NGO Misereor. He’s spent years tracking the way German companies
continue to import raw materials from Peru in spite of
environmental problems. -When it comes to raw materials,
Germany is very dependent on Peru. It imports a lot of raw materials —
especially copper, lead, silver, gold and molybdenum — and it would have a huge
problem if the Peruvian supply chain were to break down. Concerted efforts
to expose the human rights abuses or pollution caused by this supply chain are
rare. There are more efforts to push things in the other direction: people
writing that things are pretty good, and highlighting a couple of
sustainable projects. But when you visit places like this,
things look a bit different. The future of the smelter is a sensitive
issue in La Oroya, one that even divides families. Some want more operations to
create jobs. Others take a different view. -We need to find a balance.
The smelting complex needs better filters to
reduce contamination. -My main concern is the health of my
children. I even argue with my husband about this. We both work
in the mining industry. I expect the mine operators
to act more responsibily. One person in La Oroya who has been on
the side of the victims since the very beginning is Cardinal Pedro Barreto,
who also comes from a mining region. For years, he has witnessed
the many deaths caused by the ruthless exploitation
of mineral resources. -The church is not against mining. But
we are against irresponsible mining, where the Peruvian state allows
foreign companies to basically earn their weight in gold here, while at the
same time causing such regrettable consequences for the Peruvian
people and the environment. But living at altitudes as high as
Peru’s Andes already poses health risks, especially for the dreamers
and schemers in La Rinconada. A team of French scientists in 2019 set
out to find out how the back-breaking labor here at 5,100 meters altitude
is affecting the miners’ bodies. They took blood samples from the
gold-miners to measure the number of red blood cells — the blood cells that
transport oxygen. There is less oxygen in the thin air up here than at sea level.
The scientists wanted to find out how people had adapted to
these extreme conditions. -A normal person at low level- at sea
level, it’s about 40%. Here we measured a lot of people above 80%, which is a
huge amount of red blood cells in the blood. And this helps them bring
much more oxygen to the organs — to the brain,
to the muscles. The results indicated the miners’ bodies
had adapted to the altitude. Their blood was thinner than normal, and stress tests
revealed their hearts were working at maximum capacity. The
study was also intended to help people
living at sea level. -So learning how these people here in
La Rinconada can manage to live with so few oxygen, this is also a way to
think how to manage patients who have respiratory diseases, and also people
suffering from hypoxia at low level. I’m only able to deal with such low levels
of oxygen with the help of coca leaves. Coca leaves worth five soles, about 1
Euro 20. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to do anything at 5,100
meters altitude. You can either prepare them as tea
or, even better, chew them. Gold digger Fortunato shows me
how to do it. Even after all of these years, he still feels
the need to chew coca leaves. As do most of the
miners here. La Rinconada seems like
a ghost town to me. But Eric Ramos chooses to spend his
university vacations here, laboring to extract the coveted precious
metal from the ground. For this, he and his relatives begin
by washing the earth and rocks. Further downstream, the gold falls through
the gratings and gets caught in mats. With temperatures only around
five degrees Celsius — its hard work, even for a
fit 21-year-old like Eric. -It’s pretty tough out here in the cold.
But I still think I’m lucky, because we’re finding a lot of gold and we
can buy furniture and stuff. Mercury plays a key role in the process.
It is used to separate the gold from the rock, but that requires repeated
rinsing in the cold mountain air. -We are mixing this here by adding the
mercury to the slurry of rock and gold. In the end, I get a mixture
of gold and mercury. That’s how we get the
gold out of the rock. The prospectors pour the mix into metal
pans and sift out the clumps of gold. Unlike his father, Eric doesn’t
intend to work like this forever. -I’m studying on the side and when I
finish, I don’t want to come back here. -What’s your dream?
-I want to be a teacher. Almost everyone here once had dreams,
but most of them have been shattered. Many gold-diggers get stuck in La Rinconada
— somewhere between bars and brothels – under the
spell of gold. Before we leave, we see
women in the town searching for gold specks in puddles
of ice run-off and urine. La Rinconada still doesn’t have
running water or a sewage system. But there is a cemetery: the gold
prospectors’ last resting place. The cold, the poisons and
the garbage — each takes its toll on people in the
world’s highest town. We travel a bit further –
into the Peruvian Amazon. We come upon the Eduardo III: an
ageing cargo ship loaded with pigs. Loading the ship is hard work. But
Lodwig is still glad to have a job as a porter — at least until he starts to
work out how much he’s been carrying. -A sack of rice weighs 50 kilos. So that’s
100 kilos for two sacks. Every day we unload a truck-full, which
adds up to several tons. Lodwig and his colleagues spend about
three hours loading and unloading the ship. Then they have to take a break. But
their jobs may soon be obsolete anyway. The Peruvian government is planning
to build a modern and fully automated transshipment terminal in the
port town of Yurimaguas. There are few roads in the
Peruvian Amazon, so nearly everything has to be
transported along the river. Boxes, sacks, parcels, and livestock:
boats as small as the Eduardo III are a logistical nightmare. It takes hours
before everything is stowed on board. The harbormaster is already looking
forward to the new container terminal. It promises to make things
simpler, faster and better. -We’ll soon see some progress here.
Peruvian, Brazilian, and all the other boats will soon be able to pass through
all year round and carry more cargo too. The harbormaster is
hoping for a dramatic increase in exports of
raw materials to China. Hidrovia, a sprawling infrastructure
project involving the dredging of three major tributaries of the Amazon, aims
to create 3000 kilometers of deep draft channels along the river, wide enough
for larger ships. A Peruvian-Chinese consortium has been set up to manage the
project, which is due to start soon. -We’re building an extensive system
of waterways that will open up new opportunities. Right now, when the water
level is low, ships can only operate during the day, not at night. This project will
significantly improve transportation links. But that’s still all in the future. For
the time being, traders and passengers remain dependent on boats like the
Eduardo III. It will take three days and three nights to make it to Iquitos
— assuming nothing goes wrong. Cein Perez is the ship’s captain. He’s
been sailing the Amazon for 25 years. For him, it’s not just
a job, but a calling. -Navigating your way along these rivers is
a real art. I inherited the talent from my father. I’m the only one of his sons
to have carried on the tradition, and I hope that the generation after
me will continue it too. It means a
lot to me. These days, the Captain doesn’t spend
much time at the helm. He now has other people to do that task for him —
like Walter Salazar, who’s also been on the job for decades.
Sailing in such shallow waters takes a great
deal of experience. -You have to be familiar with the
river and keep a lookout for shifting sandbanks. They’re really dangerous.
If you run into one, anything can happen — the
ship can even capsize. Smaller boats are used to move along the
distributaries to the villages, where many inhabitants oppose
the Hidrovia project. Relations between locals and the central
government are strained. Many local people are part of the indigenous
community or have indigenous roots. They’ve suffered a long history
of persecution and injustice, and are still discriminated against.
Leonida Pacaya is a member of the Kukama people. She’s one of the last who
can still speak the Kukama language. -That means: how are you,
and where are you from? Today, Leonida has a visitor: Casilda
Pinche is an activist who’s committed to preserving Kukama culture.
She fears that the new infrastructure projects
will do lasting damage. -The new technology and the
machines they’ll bring in will have a devastating impact. It will
destroy a lot of things. -The river means life — for us and for the
animals. The water is everything here. It’s as important as
having air to breathe. The rivers and lakes of the Amazon are
central to the Kukamas’ culture. They believe there is another world under the
water where their ancestors gather and where people, spirits and
animals all live together. For the Kukama, any harm to
the rivers and lakes would threaten the balance of
this spiritual realm. But the protests against the new water
highway also have a very practical dimension. Casilda runs a painting school.
She says you only have to look at the course of the river to see that
dredging and channeling are a bad idea. -The river here is constantly changing.
Older people here will tell you that too. Streams appear and disappear.
We’re not meant to interfere. Casilda’s point is one leading scientists
are raising as well. Many of them have reservations about the project. One is
Jorge Abad, an environmental engineer who has spent years researching the Amazon.
He says the network of waterways here has shifted
constantly for millions of years. -We have plenty of different rivers: small
rivers, large rivers. Some that transport more sediment than others, and some
that are more dynamic than others. We never had a characterization of this river.
So: we don’t know enough. That is why he has begun evaluating
samples, satellite images and other measurements. But a survey like this
takes time, and he says the government doesn’t want to wait. At the same time,
the government’s own surveys are inadequate. Are the commercial interests
involved simply too powerful? -Basically what I think is they are blind.
Sometimes I think they want to remain blind, because if we do really nice
research here showing: maybe you don’t need to dredge ? or maybe naturally the
river is going to cause erosion by itself. Dredging the river at the wrong place
could have disastrous consequences, he says — it could upset the ecological
balance and endanger local biodiversity. Even if existing waterways
are expanded and no new roads are built, it still
carries high risks. This group of young filmmakers are
shooting a documentary on current environmental problems, travelling
through the Amazon region to talk to local people and get evidence of
environmental pollution on film. Oil extraction is a major polluter. Many
of the pipelines leak. Pedro wants his video footage to show that pipeline
maintenance and clean-up operations aren’t working anywhere near as
well as the government claims. -Here, in the middle of my country, in the
middle of Peru, the reality is there’s nothing other than pollution. There’s
no drinking water, and that makes me afraid. You can die if you
drink the water here. Pedro accuses the government of
putting profit before people in the region and he doesn’t believe the Amazon
infrastructure project will change a thing. -Sure they tell us how things will improve.
The government says the big ships from other countries coming up here
will buy our products. But that’s not how things will be. Nobody’s going to stop here
to buy our fish. It’s all disinformation. The government rejects these
accusations, saying that the Hidrovia will also
benefit local communities. -The indigenous people will benefit
enormously. It will help them get around quicker — to the doctor, for
example. The new infrastructure will make a lot of things easier. But
we will have a lot of work to do, explaining the project
to the people. So it seems the government still has
some convincing to do if it wants to push through its controversial plans to
increase exports of raw materials. All this isn’t relevant to the Eduardo III’s
operators right now. They just want to move their cargo as fast as possible, get
it unloaded, and continue on their way. But Cein Perez still hopes
to captain bigger and more modern ships up and
down the river one day. He and his crew once again
mastered the tricky currents, and are welcomed
with music. The porters quickly begin to
unload the much-needed cargo. In a few days, they will leave again —
with a fresh load of people, cargo and stories on his next journey along
the lifeline, the Peruvian Amazon. -We arrived safely. The ship is securely
moored, and nothing bad happened. And that’s the most
important thing for me. Back in Cerro de Pasco — Miserior staffer
Constantin Bittner meets a local activist. Jaime Luis Silva Ponce publicizes the
health problems caused by elevated lead levels in
childrens’ blood. He has been criticizing the lack
of protective measures for years. -We have been identifying excessively
high blood-lead levels for years now — we’ve even had help from international
institutes. But the Ministry of Health still hasn’t done anything to alleviate
chronic heavy-metal poisoning in children. Jaime shows us a film of children
describing their headaches and nosebleeds. Both symptoms are linked to the
constant toxicity in Cerro de Pasco. But to date, the activists have seen
little response to their protests. -In 2017, we protested in front of
the Ministry of Health for ten days. Following that, they signed
declarations of intent. But the treatment of the hundreds and thousands
of children who have to live with heavy metal toxicity is only
progressing slowly —— and it’s still inadequate. For now, children still have
to live with it. And as you can see, the environmental problems in Cerro de
Pasco haven’t been eliminated either. Glencore released a written statement
saying the company was doing everything within its power to keep
the human impact to a minimum, and that it will take further
protective measures. For many children, however,
these could come too late. -We feel forgotten. Compared to other
cities, we have given a lot to Peru and our government, but we have got nothing back.
We are much worse off than other places. But Cerro de Pasco is just one of many
places in South America caught in the stranglehold of the global greed for raw
materials — places where bulldozers rip open the earth and poisons eat
their way through people’s bodies.

100 Replies to “Deadly waste from raw materials | DW Documentary”

  • hank fontaine says:

    Devils sure don't like fruit trees & grape vines

  • Naiyo says:

    Truth is, nothing is going to happen. This mine is Peru is one of many, many, many all around the world that consistently pollute the environment and the people. The sad part is the laptop that iam using to comment this, is most likely sourced from those places.

  • norpan506 says:

    waste – the dark side of capitalism

  • MZ says:

    All, just to make a new Iphone/Audi

  • MZ says:

    I think there needs to be an international enviormental court to provide answers and to hold the criminals accountable.
    local governments are always too currupt or in league with the industrial interests in those countries to provide impartial judicial response.
    These peruvian families poisned by lead should be able to sue the interntnationl conglomerate directly in an international court!

  • ultra instinct says:

    26:08 Bajaj pulsar in Peru?

  • MrTommyboy68 says:

    That sort of things was very common place here in the USA until Environmental Laws and the EPA got some teeth. Sadly, Fat Donnie is bound and determined to set us back at least 75 years and kill off the Environmental Protection Agency and open our National Parks to drilling and mining. Take a look around the country and see how many environmental DISASTERS ARE STILL HERE IN THE USA.

  • Patti Sansbury says:

    They just move into your town one day and this happens. Those poor little children with bleeding noses. Amazing how their little bodies have adapted this long.

  • mr luigi says:

    Everyone knows not to bite the hand that feeds it,just follow the money.

  • mr luigi says:

    directors immediately at the time of disaster rounded up and called to account

  • Gary Sutphin says:

    The woman in the red T shirt? Corporate shill.

  • praseedpg says:

    good coverage, but no stoppage, mining mafia continues every where…

  • jesse shadrack says:

    Thanks for highlighting this DW. Most people don't know what and where the raw materials that is used to make their gadgets come from. Furthermore, they never understand the consequences of some of these multinational companies which care less about the environment.

  • Fishy Hobby says:

    The diplomatic swiss with their nazi wealth ruining the lives and landscapes of other countries.. How much were the politicians paid off? When is the revolution?

  • Patriot says:

    Humanity is letting BIG corporations destroy the planet by allowing them to be LAWLESS towards the environment! Shameful!

  • Yamez Dext says:

    I really hate governments which think they can do anything they want and they always do anything for the money. Humans have become so addicted to money that they don't care about anything else. But the question is: when the world is inhabitable because of global warming, where will the money take us? Will it reverse the effects?Will the money grow into trees? We are living in such a crazy world, people are so stupid !!!

  • Pvk Jhilk says:

    and if they fought back, how quick would their corporations send in mercenaries?

  • moose 174466 says:

    The only hope for the planet is a virulent pandemic that wipes out about 4 to 5 billion of us humites.

  • Bruce McComas says:

    I wonder how this mine would operate in Switzerland?

  • Thoth_432 says:

    Bernie Sanders 2020 he'll help the Peruvians and put a stop to the EVIL corporations

  • Jānis Rišis says:

    Resources for making plastic mountains haw.

  • Seth Samuel says:

    I think the solution to this is the resettlement of these folks. Well, even as much as no life should be traded for it, we cannot pretend that we don't have need of these raw materials!

  • Metaphysical2012 says:

    Greed is the cause of our downfall.

  • Seth Samuel says:

    It seems our world is trying to wake up at the wrong time.

  • peter lewis says:

    Good job DW . Makes me think companies shouldn't be able to advertise happy shiny people buying their products without advertising the whole story.

  • John Carlson says:

    24:12 cocaine is a hell of a drug 😂

  • bela katootz says:

    they're gonna need bigger beavers

  • Tushy Ranx says:

    Lead leads to people leading unhealthy lives

  • contestant // says:

    Thanks for this documentary:)

  • Alkomp75 says:

    I love DW documentary because their investigative journalists seems to be indifferent of the big interests

  • MaybeSo MaybeNot says:

    They're brown children.
    Everyone knows that batteries, circuit boards and multinational corporation profits are more important that brown children.

  • Trying Harder says:

    Another case where the interests of the corporation and the greed of local politicians outweigh the safety and well being of the local citizens. Will this kind of greed ever end? Not in my lifetime I'm pretty damn sure. Will there be anything left to live for in the next generation. Not if the aforementioned greed continues. End of rant.

  • Renee Soave says:


  • Christopher Betty says:

    They allow this to happen to themselves. Why would you live so close to mines, nuclear plant, dumps and factories. We are all at fault. There's too many people on the planet an our demand for resources worldwide is out of control. All these damages are because of human development and demand. So look at your phone, laptop, big screen tv and other fancy stuff in you house, this is where the resources come from. Yes this is all sad, but who is really at fault here. All Humans..

  • Bhuvanesh s.k says:

    Reason why we need funding to mine asteroid

  • All2skitzd says:

    Why don't they burn all that trash?

  • the engine ear says:

    why are they still living there

  • zizzy says:

    Glencore …..a dishonest devious mining house, recent origin …South Africa

  • annoloki says:

    Conquistadors… they've never stopped their killing for mining in the New World ever since the Spanish first found silver five centuries ago. When there is nothing left to take, the people will be free, until then, their necks remain under the boots of those with more money than heart

  • paul clark says:

    This is so disheartening to see these kinds of suffering of others to the betterment of mankind. The only way to fix this is if the whole world works together, sadly that will never happen so self destruction will happen.

  • Cryptoversity says:

    We are all cattle, working for the tyranical Q and her legions of banksters and paedophiles. In the end, after they automate everything they will k!ll most of us and take what little we own that they have not already stolen prior to ensure we never reached anywhere near their level of wealth, prosperity and freedom. All we are all doing is mining and raping the world on their behalf.

  • jonna hofman says:

    Why; on Earth do we mine lead

  • jonna hofman says:

    The people work in that industry and sold themselves short.
    Solutions are easy. Quit

  • Pretty Prudent says:

    The air here in Overland Park, Kansas(United States) is bad too. There seems to be a sort of yellow tint in the air. I noticed it when I moved here from Saint Louis, Missouri. ~Tina

  • Oracle of the Most High says:

    I hate this place. This is flint michigan on. A large scale. These people are wicked and will pay for their crimes

  • NAZ UDDIN says:

    China is the second monster

  • NAZ UDDIN says:

    The way she was saying about her husband is like shes happy that he be never found

  • NAZ UDDIN says:

    Best wishes DW
    From london❤

  • Pio B says:

    They need to eat cilantro for flush out the metals from their blood.

  • wpaia says:

    Why don't government and corporations do something. Move those people out of that place

  • Agador Spartacus says:

    The world keeps getting wealthier. Why does it never get any smarter.

  • wpaia says:

    Outrageous thing is that citizens pay taxes in which they help pay the police, in which the police are their to protect the corporations, and the corporation are responsible for poisoning the community, in which police workers lived.
    Why don't the community get rifles to protect their lively hood, get some guns.

  • Nathan Ashley says:

    a poor mining town in a poor country in a poor continent. news flash poverty sucks

  • Nathan Ashley says:

    don't bother filtering the water

  • Gordon Wardell says:

    This constant strive for more money will kill us all.

  • J Dub says:

    Americans have a great source of heavy metals – dental work! Avoid amalgam fillings like the place, insist on composite ONLY!

  • bill webb says:

    Couldn't be any worse then feeding high fructose corn syrup to people….

  • Ken Kowalski says:

    Hands of US this one belongs to us Aussies!!

  • Sea dreams says:

    Sick world sick people! 🙁

  • Anne Chester says:

    Dams always employ illuminati family members

  • Promothash Boruah says:

    Why Glencore is not closed worldwide? This company should be banned and fined.

  • avni ajdini says:

    We are literally poison our beautiful blue planet,and destroying human race in the process

  • Alen P says:

    Humans are paying a big price for the gold is it worth it ??

  • Saleh Othman says:

    We as consumers we must be ethical when purchasing any products, inquire and resuch abaut the products and be able to resist the presure to wanting more.

  • Magras Creation says:

    humanity need to reset this is just acceptable yet we call ourselves civilized…

  • James Guilford says:

    I have not watched a full five minutes of this video and I have already come up with the perfect Neoliberal solution to this problem ! This problem can easily be solved by simply stopping the blood tests, which are the reason lead is being found in such dangerous levels in these

    people ! If the blood tests are stopped, lead will no longer be found in these people's blood and like magic the problem goes away and we can continue business as usual !
    Please, please, you do not need to remind me of my Neoliberal genius more than once !

  • Lance Fortaleza says:

    German ingenuity….
    Medical Equipments/devices/apparatuses

  • branka vranic says:

    rhay import the plastic ,to and not export..again back. wery scary

  • Julie Sheard says:

    Our species is suffering from terminal greed. We are going to go extinct in the next hundred years. So long and thanks for all the fish!


    The Price Of Globalism!!!

  • SBF HAWK says:

    I dont even have any more words for the destruction that these greedy and these lustful men running around sacking the resuources and the destroying our earth have done. How long will we sit in discontent how long will we not force these Mine companies to cease and desist. I sit here in front of this PC made from parts no doubt sourced from that pit. We are also to blame if just stop using these devices and we rethink how we are doing the things that are having a hand in the destruction. I dont see any solution but complete destruction and and full on reset.

  • Littlelady Red says:


  • BorisaRed says:

    The same banker nightmare is playing out EVERYWHERE! Nobody seems to care until that nightmare comes knocking on your door!

  • Rolly Herrera says:

    The key in this story is the Chinese! Anywhere they go, in their wake, We have seen environmental disasters..Most importantly; Human Health deteriorates..The pigs farming closely brings more to this story..Look deeper!!! The Amazon must be saved at its beginning point, or else our last bastion of medical breakthroughs, and animals going extinct will never recuperate! Time is Now!

  • James says:

    Mesita grade school El Paso tx. Thank you ASARCO

  • M D says:

    You guys are not translating the right way!

  • Arnold Davis says:

    I think. That's wrong with Republicans to much lead

  • Aduha Dx says:

    Deadly Waste documentary did it again!!

  • adnaloy james says:

    That was not an exact translation

  • Philip Freeman says:

    Your body puts any heavy metal in the bones in your feet dont break any of them .

  • Philip Freeman says:

    Mercury is one of the worst bottom fish have lots.

  • Philip Freeman says:

    Wishing Thailand would dredge its rivers , some are against it.

  • Spiritual Awareness says:

    no matter where they put that school it would still be next to the mine. That thing is HUGE!!!

  • Frank Woodward says:

    The rich getting richer and the poor die for if and that's how the big corporations wont it and there governments let them do it as long as they get there money are governments have to stop are big corporations from killing the poor for profit.

  • Spiritual Awareness says:

    This saddens and disgusts me. For the longest I believed Peru to be a country of greenery, with llamas littered around the countryside. People making handcrafts from llama wool, and playing pan flutes. Boy was this documentary a slap in the face.

  • Joe King says:

    'some with their lives'. this is the ONLY industry that takes lives? holy mo who would have thunk it?

  • Simple Man says:

    Silica detoxes heavy metals

  • Dappa says:

    This is fucked how do these company's get away with this shite

  • Grosz Marton Csaba says:

    how about us?!?hahaha joke your corupt people and the state is so corupt they are the quilty hunger for money so you pay with your life…

  • zombokiler says:

    swissies get around

  • Helle Andersen says:

    Maybe the goverment wants the jungle too, thats why they build the harbor?

  • Richard Garza says:

    At 1:00 the truth is told with a lie, and one need not watch this because of it.
    "Even with their lives?" As if that where the last option for the cowards digging holes in the planet, or not a frequent event.
    This why everything you buy has blood on it…if not yours, someone else's.
    Enjoy your STUFF.

  • Pietro Bembo says:

    The world will eventually stop to exist, homo sapiens ("smart men") are just speeding up the process; killing themselves with it. A bit like what the corona virus could do to the "smart men". Nature at its best.

  • Diep Le says:

    Which is more valuable, human life or commodity? Logical reasoning should help those leaders incharge to make a right choice for the people and the country affected.

  • Love & Honour Love says:

    Just drink bottled water. Stop taking baths. Force the Swiss to provide bottled water. You don't need tap water, if it's dirty with toxic metals from the mine. Drink Nestle bottled water.

  • Victor H says:

    DW you guys are the best! Still doing real news! Don't ever change! Sad that we don't have anyone doing this kind of work here anymore. All we got is racist Fox news, and fake news CNN & MSNBC! 😭😭😭

  • The Sea Hermit says:

    who in this received the several hundreds of million clearly not the people…who did they pay… following the money should tell you all you need to know.

  • niki123489 says:

    Think about this movie next time you want to invest in stocks at stock market.

  • Wake up Neo says:

    Yew-owned companies

  • Promothash Boruah says:

    Hello DW,
    Please investigate "Union Carbide". My friend below had commented about similar misconduct by the organization.

    Promothash Boruah

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