NGOs call on Swedish mining company Boliden not to block access to justice

CORE, Sherpa, the European Coalition for Corporate Justice and the International Federation for Human Rights have written to the CEO of Boliden Mineral, a Swedish mining company, calling on Boliden not to block the Appeal Court in Sweden from hearing the case of Arica Victims v Boliden Mineral.

In 1984, Boliden dumped over 20,000 tons of toxic waste in Arica in northern Chile. Nearly 800 individuals from Arica who were harmed by the toxic waste sued Boliden in Skelleftea District Court in Sweden, but the Court ruled against them in March of this year. The claimants appealed the ruling and the case is due to be heard by the Swedish Court of Appeal in early 2019.

To block this appeal, Boliden is attempting to force the claimants to pay the procedural costs of the first set of hearings. In March the District Court ruled that the claimants are responsible for paying the procedural costs of 35 Million SEK to Boliden Mineral.

Although the case is now pending in the Court of Appeal, Boliden is attempting to have this aspect of the ruling enforced before the appeal is completed. This would make the appeal financially very difficult, prevent a full legal examination of Boliden’s shipment of toxic waste and amount to a denial of access to remedy to the Arica victims.

The letter calls on Boliden to abstain from this course of action and allow a full legal examination of its shipment of toxic mining waste in the 1980s.

You can read the letter here.