Press release Arica Victims 27 March 2019:
No Justice for 796 injured residents in Arica, Chile
After more than eight years of litigation, the Swedish Court of Appeal ruled against the Arica victims involved in the lawsuit against Boliden. Boliden, with endless resources, managed to avoid liability for the humanitarian and environmental harm caused by its toxic mining wastes. Possibly, the outcome of the lawsuit would have been different had the charges against Boliden been brought in 1998, when the evidentiary basis was different.
Boliden is well aware that the wastes shipped to Arica in 1984-85 have caused great harm and severely affected numerous individuals in Arica, not limited to those involved in this lawsuit. Yet, Boliden has never showed the slightest interest in satisfying or compensating for this harm and the human suffering caused by its wastes. This is a disgrace, even more so since Boliden pretends to be a modern mining company and claims that it works for social responsibility and sustainability. For Arica Victims it remains obvious that the harm caused to the individuals in the case stems from Boliden’s toxic mining wastes.
The Court only assess what can be proven, 34 years after Boliden’s payment of 10 million SEK to dump its wastes near residential areas in the making, during the Pinochet regime. The judgment shows what the Court considers to be proven. Still, it is also clear that justice was never achieved. Boliden managed to escape from its responsibility for the 20 000 metric tonnes of toxic wastes, that were shipped to Chile in the mid-1980s.
Stockholm 27 March 2019
On behalf of Arica Victims,
Göran Starkebo, Jonas Ebbesson and Johan Öberg