Human Rights, Environmental Impact Assessments, Remedies, Property, Damages

Petitioner, the National Coordinator of Communities of Peru affected by Mining, claimed that a mining company violated Peruvian law in so far as it did not submit an environmental impact assessment concerning the effects of the mining. The mining operations were authorized nonetheless.

Petitioner claimed that the state of Peru is responsible for the negative effects on the community’s health, farming, spiritual values concerning the relationship with the environment and other factors resulting from these operations and therefore violated several articles of the American Convention on Human Rights (the Convention).

Peru pointed out provisions of the Political Constitution of 1993 recognizing the fundamental right to a healthy and balanced environment and noted that this proved the high priority environmental rights enjoy in the state of Peru.

The Commission decided that the petition was admissible concerning violations of Articles 4 (right to life), 5 (right to humane treatment), 8 (right to a fair trial), 17 (rights of the family), 19 (rights of the child), 21 (right to property), 25 (right to judicial protection), and 26 (progressive realization) of the Convention.

It decided, however, that there was no violation of Articles 7 (right to personal liberty), 11 (right to privacy), 16 (freedom of association), 22 (freedom of movement and residence), 23 (right to participate in government), and 24 (right to equal protection) of the Convention.

The Commission also remarked that the domestic remedies given to the Petitioners were not effective seeing as operations continued to cause damage to the community.