The State Commission for Human Rights of Jalisco (CEDHJ) issued a recommendation to the Government of Jalisco for various requests that it be investigated as a serious offense, the concealment of a study that showed contamination in the Santiago River, affecting residents of El Salto, Guadalajara, Juanacatlán and Tonala. The diagnosis was made by researchers from the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí (UASLP) in March 2010 and contains 341 pages.
“The investigation began with more than 1,500 complaints filed by the environmental association Un Salto de Vida, in which they pointed out that as a result of the ‘Caravan ToxiTour’ that was carried out through the most polluted areas of the Santiago River in December 2019, had made public a document prepared by the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí, which was called the Methodological Proposal for the implementation of a battery of health indicators that favor the establishment of diagnostic, intervention and epidemiological surveillance programs in the populations located in the area of influence of the Arcediano Dam project”, refers the Commission.
This Methodological Proposal was required by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) due to the disagreements generated by the Arcediano Dam project, for which PAHO requested that the Government of Jalisco carry out precise investigations.
“In that sense, in 2009 the State Water Commission (CEA) carried out a collaboration agreement with the UASLP to carry out the sampling of more than three hundred minors who lived in the communities of Puente Grande and Jalisco Section II , in Tonalá, El Salto, Juanacatlán, La Cofradía and Jardines de la Barranca, in Guadalajara, during 2009 and 2010. The results of this research identified health risk scenarios and multidimensional vulnerability indices for the six communities involved as general health problems , neuropsychological and hematological alterations, as well as exposure to toxic and infectious agents. The document even revealed that children from El Salto, Juanacatlán, La Cofradía and Puente Grande presented high levels of exposure to lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, benzene and organochlorine pesticides (basically αHCH). Some even exceeded the biological safety limits for the occupationally exposed adult population, as well as for the child population; such was the case of trans, trans muconic acid (benzene), lead and arsenic”.
To the heads of the Jalisco Health Secretariat and the OPD Jalisco Health Services: “You are requested to jointly, coordinately and jointly carry out the repair and comprehensive care of the damage in favor of the direct and indirect victims, for which They must grant all the measures of restitution, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition that are appropriate.”
In this sense, the measures of integral reparation of the damage must contain at least the following:
a) Design and carry out an information campaign in the municipalities through which the Santiago River crosses, where they are informed of the signs and general and preventive measures that the population must adopt and where to go to receive medical care.
b) Carry out a diagnosis on the risks and damages to the health of the colonies indicated in the Methodological Proposal.
c) An informative campaign is designed and executed in the municipalities that make up the populations that were the object of the Methodological Proposal, on the symptoms and signs to identify diseases such as cancer, heart failure, diabetes mellitus and renal failure, where the measures are indicated. general and preventive measures that the population must adopt and where to go to receive medical attention.
d) Establish a program of actions that includes compliance dates to provide the necessary clinical and psychological care and medications to attend to each case that has been identified up to now, or that will occur in the future, of possible victims of skin diseases, respiratory, gastrointestinal, renal and others that could be the product or consequence of the contamination of the Santiago River. That they carry out a demonstration of support and symbolic recognition of the collective Un Salto de Vida, which has distinguished itself for defending the ecosystem, and which in the present case was the one who promoted the assertion of the right to information in environmental matters and the right to the truth. Do whatever is necessary to ensure that all personnel under your charge receive training on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The foregoing, in order to provide public policy planning with a focus on results and approaches to indicators that meet the SDGs.
To the head of the State Water Commission, he recommends “that he carry out all the necessary actions to guarantee that the OIC of the dependency in charge has the minimum personnel required to carry out its actions.
A comprehensive education and training course on human rights is designed and taught, particularly on the rights to a healthy environment, as well as access to and sanitation of water, aimed at public servants of the agency. The investigations are expanded to cover, at least, the area of high impact due to the primary contaminants present in the Santiago River and Lake Chapala, an area identified in Special Report 02/2021, published by this Ombudsman on February 8, 2021 ”.