Letter: Peruvian children deserve a fair trial, full compensation

Letter: Peruvian children deserve a fair trial, full compensation

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**FILE** Two school girls head to school in La Oroya, Peru in this Sept. 2003 file photo. Townspeople in La Oroya, a smoke-choked Andean town where St. Louis-based Doe Run Co. operates a metallurgical plant, have levels of toxic heavy metals in their bodies as much as 30 times higher than what is normal in the United States, according to a U.S. study released Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005. (AP Photo, file)

Alas, my hope that Gov. Mike Parson would bring better ethical/moral decisions to Missouri was naive and misplaced. Parson wrote letters to support moving a lawsuit from St. Louis to Peru after Peruvian youths were damaged by lead and other pollutants from Doe Run’s operations in La Oroya, Peru. In doing so, Parson sides with the dark side of Doe Run. The legal system in Peru is thought by U.S. businesses to be less strong than the U.S. legal system, and thus likely to be more lenient toward them.

Doe Run has a long history of polluting not only the environment surrounding its smelting plants, but the human beings who work there or live nearby. Surely Parson is informed enough to realize that the La Oroya children, nearly all of them having unacceptable, elevated lead and other pollutants in their blood, can never be free of the damage inflicted by the smelter's pollutants. At the very least, they deserve a trial that is most likely to award as full compensation as possible to them as they struggle with health issues for the rest of their lives.

Have you no sense of decency, Gov. Parson?

Mary M. Phelan • Webster Groves

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