Cerro de Pasco

weeping tears of lead
the mine sucks the town’s marrow
silver behemoth

Kim M. Russell, 16th May 2018

Image result for cerro de pasco lead contamination Pinterest
Image found on Pinterest: the big open pit mined in the centre of the city Cerro De Pasco

My response to Carpe Diem #1433 Cerro de Pasco

Today we are making a stop in Cerro de Pasco, the capital of Pasco Region in Peru. Chèvrefeuille tells us that Cerro de Pasco is in central Peru, at the top of the Andean mountains. It became one of the world’s richest silver producing areas after silver was discovered there in 1630 and is still an active mining centre.

I did some reading up and found out that not only do they mine silver in Cerro de Pasco but also lead and zinc in an open mine like a crater, surrounded by massive mounds of lead-laced tailings. Dust from the mounds blows everywhere. Since 1996, Peru’s health ministry has sampled blood-lead levels in children twice a year and found that more than half the children tested have high lead levels, most likely from ingesting the tailings dust. The mine at Cerro de Pasco that once made it rich with silver is now consuming the town.


4 thoughts on “Cerro de Pasco

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.