Children play on the toxic ground in Chile. Photo: Laika Films/Toxic Playground

Swedish mining company sued for poisoning in Chile

"It's really really bad for the health"
6:25 min

Over 700 residents of a village in Chile are suing Swedish mining company Boliden for dumping poisonous wastes in their village nearly 30 years ago, according to Dagens Nyheter.

Raw sludge was transported from Skellefteå Harbor in northern Sweden to Polygono, an impoverished village in northern Chile. The 707 people named in the lawsuit are suffering from arsenic poisoning.

Boliden maintains that the transportation of the sludge was approved by Swedish authorities, but the lawsuit filed today in Skellefteå District Court claims that the transfer was not approved by county officials or the Environmental Protection agency. Boliden also adds that they are not responsible by the waste, as it was sold to a Chilean company for processing, and it is this company which should be seen as the owners of the polluted rocks and mud, and therefore legally culpable.

The scandal hit the headlines in Sweden back in 2009, when a documentary film called "Toxic Wasteland" about the case by filmmakers Lars Edman and William Johansson was shown on national television.

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