Oct 9, 2017

Next steps for #RestoreCerroDePasco

Quiulacocha lake - Excelsior waste mining disposal
Quiulacocha lake - Excelsior waste mining disposal

Updates about our next steps through our important project #RestoreCerroDePasco.

Last months have been full of meetings between Cerro de Pasco's communities leaders, local NGOs and national Institutions.

The Minister of Energy and Mines, Cayetana Aljovín, exposed in the Congress, in front of the Commission of Andean, Amazonian and Afro-Peruvian Peoples, Environment and Ecology, the situation about the remediation of environmental liabilities and pointed out that a budget has been assigned to close the waste mining disposal "Excelsior" near Quiulacocha lake.

Another study, promoted by local NGO Red Muqui, alerts on high risk of exposure and chronic intoxication by heavy metals in La Oroya and Cerro de Pasco.

Menwhile these efforts and advances, at the same time the Central Government has promoted during its first year lots of laws that represent criminal attacks against environment and human rights. 

The Decree 003-2017-MINAM was approved in June and It lowers the environmental standards for air quality. It represents a setback of at least 15 years in the country's environmental policies.

One of the last incostitutional action carried forward by the Government of Perù is the Ministerial Resolution 276 of the Ministry of the Environment that allows mining project in vulnerable areas as water basins, primary forests, protected lands, protected natural areas, groundwater and springs. 

According to these news, it is very important for us to sustain and support the Cerro de Pasco Project.

We need to abandon the mining dependence of the economic model that does not generate employment and is leaving us without strategic resources due to the environmental damages it generates.

So, what are we going to do?

SOURCE International is going to came back to Perù soon (between October or November 2017) to expose the results of our last study to the National Congress in Lima.

Moreover we will move to Cerro de Pasco to meet local communities and partners to show the final ouputs of the environmental and health study. 

Here a video explaining our study and main results.

We are working hard to obtain big changes for local people and for the protection of the environment. We let you know quite soon which are the next actions for Cerro de Pasco!

Jul 12, 2017

Biomonitoring children exposition to heavy metals

Campaign #Restore Cerro de Pasco
Campaign #Restore Cerro de Pasco


Here a short summary about physical and mental health situation in Cerro de Pasco after Source International hair lab results interpretation.

The heavy metals concentration in children's hair in the area is quite alarming:

  • 100% of children who lived in Paraghsa, the community closed to the mine, have LEAD in their hair;
  • 97% of them have MANGANESE too;
  • 96% report ALUMINIUM above the reference standard (*German reference standard used for this investigation);
  • heavy metals concentration in children of Paraghsa is higher than children in Carhuamayo (control sample) and extremely above of the German standard.

Furthermore 34% of Paraghsa children report low concentrations of essential elements such as selenium, chromium and especially zinc, that highlights malnutrition symptom that causes an increase of toxic metals absorption. 

As part of the health investigation we compared mortality, morbility and mental health of local situation with national and regional level.  According to the data provided by the Hospital of Cerro de Pasco, local population report high rate of diseases related to maternal reproductive health; moreover the first cause of mortality is fetal death.                           These are clear evidences of how high concentrations of toxic metals are responsible for damaging the fetus, as a lot of scientific publications report.                                                                                                                                           

Within Simon Bolivar district, Paraghsa is the community with the highest percentage of registered cases of diseases; furthermore it presents numerous cases of diseases of the digestive system, respiratory and numerous cases of trauma and poisoning, which leads to the relationship between human exposure to toxic contaminants and the development of specific morbilities.    

In the last 4 years there was an increase of mental disorders in Paraghsa’s population, particularly in relation to family violence (87% of the population) and depression (11%).  According to the literature it is known that high blood levels of mercuryand lead are the basis of many psycho-physical health problems, associated with depression, anxiety, and increased cases of suicide!


The project is still open and we are working constantly on it, supporting also local NGOs and community.

If you are interested to donate more to this huge case study, you can click direclty here: http://bit.ly/2g2BGvD

We hope you can support this big effort to help people&environment!

Thank you so much to be part of this!


Source International

Mental Health
Mental Health
May 4, 2017

First-hand data over the rivers basins in Cerro de Pasco

Quiulacocha mine
Quiulacocha mine

Source International is ready to show you the environmental results analysis of the 16 water samples taken during September 2016: useful data to understand the environmental quality state of Cerro de Pasco and surroundings.

Where did we sampled water?

  • Tap water in private house in Paraghsa (community closed to the open pit and mining plants) and in Cerro de Pasco.
  • Two natural lagoons converted into mining waste pools: Quiulacocha and Yanamate
  • 4 points on San Juan River (also affected by the gold mine AUREX and a polymetallic one, BROCAL) that flows into the lake Junin, National Park.
  • 3 points on Tingo River, which it spring on the back of the city and where the municipality, together with the mining company, have covered its source with wastes.
  • 3 points on Huallaga River that received mining waste of other mines too along its path.
  • 2 points of the mining water waste near the mining plants in Paraghsa community.


The water analysis were performed in a certified European laboratory, according to the international standard and laws.

What do we found? How is the environmental water quality near the mining city Cerro de Pasco? Which are the main pollutants presented there and which risks for the population?

  • Quiulacocha and Yanamate lakes represent the symbol of this gigantic ecological disaster caused by long term minerals extraction in the area. These natural areas, part of the fragile and unique Andean ecosystem, are converted into sites without life. They are sources of high and serious risk for the population, the environment and biodiversity because of their high toxicity that has risen since our last studio in 2009. The pH of these lakes is around 2 (that mean 10.000 times the normal) and we have recorded high levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead, chrome, iron, copper, manganese, zinc.

The iron concentration is 6000 times over the national law limit! The manganese is 2200 times more than the Peruvian law level.

Dust mining waste are transported by wind in the area, expanding the impact radius of mining activities.

  • San Juan River is polluted by heavy metals with high concentration near the gold mine AUREX, endangering the survivor of aquatic life. This water should not be used neither for agricultural activities.
  • The Junin Lagoon received the mining contamination of the San Juan, compromising the conservation and protection of this natural wetland.
  • Tingo and Huallaga rivers are contaminated too with heavy metals, whose concentrations reduce a bit away from the mine, demonstrating that the mine is the responsible of it.
  • The mining waste water is polluted by aluminum, iron, arsenic, lead and zinc and it flows direct into the rivers without being purified or treated.
  • Fortunately, but apparently strange, the tap water is drinkable.


 After more than 100 years of the first mining installation in Cerro de Pasco, human rights violations persist! Right to water, to live in a healthy environment, and to health are nor respected nor protected. The Peruvian government and the mining companies, in particular the company Cerro S.A.C, a subsidiary of the mining company Volcan S.A.A, are violating the RIGHT TO LIFE of more than 70,000 people.

Stay tune for the second part of the health study on children’s hair analysis.


To go ahead with this important study we need your help more than before!

Your support is essential for everyone who is involved into this project!

Yanamate mine
Yanamate mine
Junin Lagoon
Junin Lagoon
Mining Waste Tailing
Mining Waste Tailing
Paraghsa is closed to the mine plants
Paraghsa is closed to the mine plants
Mining Waste on the Tingo River
Mining Waste on the Tingo River


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