The 20,000 tons of toxic waste abandoned in Chile

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Between 1984 and 1985, the Swedish company Boiden Mineal AB dumped nearly 20,000 tons of toxic waste in Arica, Chile, through a contract with the local company Promel Ltda. Decades later, the neighbors dragged health problems such as cancer cases , joint pain, breathing difficulties, allergies, anemia, miscarriage and birth defects that have been linked to exposure to waste.

Those affected ask for support to improve their health and prevent the spread of toxins, with high concentrations of arsenic, mercury, cadmium and lead. In 2013, more than 700 Arica residents legally sued the Boiden company in Sweden. Their fight ended in failure when the North Norrland Court of Appeal dismissed the case on the grounds of the temporary nature of the damages.

For neighbors like Daniel Bembow, who has become an environmental activist, waste was part of his childhood. He and his brothers spent the afternoon playing with the metals they found in the toxic wells in the area, using them as chalk to draw and not knowing the danger they were exposing themselves to.

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