Arica city is located in Chile, country of south America. Arica is the first city of the north of Chile ,is for that reason that it limits in the north with Peru, in the east with Bolivia and in the west with the Pacific ocean. Arica has an approximate population of 150 thousand habitants and it possesses a semi tropical climate.
The problem dates from fifteen years ago when some businesses began to store and amass minerals that contained lead in the community of Arica.
The first company was Promel; this chilean company was paid great amounts of money to take highly toxic waste from Sweden. This toxic waste, among other things, contained a high level of Lead. Promel said it planned to construct a treatment plant to take care of these toxic materials, and that this plant would generate jobs. Promel received permission and was able to store tons of lead in area of Arica known as "los industriales".
Soon after, Promel declared bankruptcy, and this toxic waste was cast aside and forgotten about. To put it more bluntly, it was a great lie on the part of the company that this decontamination plant would be built in the first place. PROMEL WAS PAID TO TRANSPORT THIS LEAD CONTAMINATED WASTE TO CHILE FROM SWEDEN, AND TO DAY WE ARE DEALING WITH THE CONSEQUENCES.
This is not all, today there exist two other sources of lead contamination in the city of the Arica, and these are: The railroad terminal (across from Villa Santa Maria), and the storage area for the lead contaminated waste located in the port.
For ten years, in the railroad terminal, there has been a place designated for the storage of the lead contaminated material. Today, the area of storage, although it is certainly still toxic, is not found there. They have been moved to the port. Without a doubt the area where the lead was stored remains highly contaminated.
The wind has done its work well, it has carried particles or lead dust from the storage of areas to the city, in the past the contamination was worse than it is now, but without s doubt the "villa Santa Maria", "Parque Centenario", "poblacion Chinchorro", the area surrounding piscina (the municipal pool), and the industrial park all show high levels of lead contamination in their soils today.