Paraguay should take action to prosecute those responsible for the illegal use of fertilizers that allegedly led to the death of one farmer and the poisoning of at least 20 others, a UN-appointed panel of independent experts has said.
According to the Human Rights Committee, the large-scale spraying of "toxic agrochemicals" in Canindeyú department in the east of the country, has severely-impacted living conditions, health, and livelihoods.
It said in a statement that despite samples being found in people's homes that showed the presence of banned chemicals many years ago, subsequent investigations had "made no substantive progress", and had not led to any finding of criminal responsibility, or to the redress of the harm" caused.
The expert panel maintained that water resources and aquifers had been contaminated by industrial soybean production that had caused the loss of fruit trees, the death of farm animals and severe crop damage.
The committee also highlighted a court ruling in Paraguay which found that the authorities had failed to protect people from the toxic products, while also calling for a buffer zone between housing and growing areas.