Doe Run continues to refuse to meet its obligations. The smelting operation owned by hell-bound child-murdering billionaire Ira Rennert, which has successfully managed to funnel profits from Doe Run Peru back to a separate entity in the United States while refusing to meet clean-up obligations, has now effectively refused to pay the back taxes owed for years of operation.
Doe Run took over operations at La Oroya decades ago from a poorly run government operation that saw the local town and people poisoned to levels unheard of anywhere else in the world. Given the rights on the cheap, Doe Run was in return contractually obliged to use some of the vast profits it expected to generate to clean up the area.
Doe Run met none of their obligations and levels of pollution rose year after year while the operators laughed in the face of successive weak governments who accepted promise after promise. While making a healthy profit from the site, the only money spent in Peru was falsifying data, public relations work, and going after independent researchers and Peace Corps volunteers who are able to use Doe Run’s own slanted figures to prove the increase in pollution.
Doe Run in the US, where families are also poisoned and killed but to a far lesser extent, have conveniently kept subsidiary Doe Run Peru on the verge of bankruptcy for years to force the government’s hand in its common place requests asking for more and more time to meet obligations. While turning a profit to send back to the US, Doe Run Peru is kept penniless except for lawyers fees and money for daily full-page propaganda in newspapers.
As well as not meeting clean up obligations, Doe Run also owes S/.760 million in back taxes, about $260 million US Dollars. Billionaire Ira Rennert refuses to pay and threatens to declare Doe Run Peru bankrupt if his hand is forced.
In order to put pressure on the government, La Oroya plant was recently ordered closed by Doe Run. Workers, with no other source of income started on-going protests that paralysed the region, the lowly-paid poverty-afflicted workers desperate for the government to find a solution.
The government, between a rock and a hard place, seem to have taken the only way out they have available again – bowing to Doe Run and asking them to please not flee the country with their billions and offering them yet another one last chance to meet their obligations.
Doe Run are considering whether to accept the government’s offer and re-open the refinery. Their lawyers have dictated the payment terms of the back-taxes to the government – they suggest paying S./1 million each year. Doe Run’s requested payment schedule would see back-taxes paid in total by the year 2771. Inflation, of course, will not factored in.
Peruvian prime minister Javier Velásquez Quesquen has called the move “blackmail”, just as with the threats from the US company to close operations forever and just walk away paying nothing. It is likely that the government will have to accept.
Find out more about the La Oroya situation here. Locals would blessed to just be dealing with a BP oil leak.