Stop Dumping Heavy Metals Into Vital Waterway

Target: Sergio Bregman, Argentina’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development

Goal: End the dumping of industrial waste into Argentina’s Matanza River, including byproducts of animal-product based companies and factories like slaughterhouses and tanneries.

Argentina’s Matanza River is an important waterway in the country, running through the capital city of Buenos Aires and with a drainage basin home to about 3.5 million people. However, it is also recognized as one of the most polluted rivers in the world, and the continued destruction of the waterway has harmed and continues to harm the health and well-being of many Argentinians.

The river received its name — matanza meaning “slaughter” — from the fact that, since the early 1800s, many slaughterhouses and tanneries have sprung up alongside it and have dumped incalculable amounts of waste into it since that time. Animal-product based companies are not the only culprits in the river’s destruction, however. Industrial waste from factories has also poisoned the Matanza: Heavy metals like cadmium and lead, both of which are toxic to humans and other creatures, are found in the river in large quantities.

In 2013, TIME ranked the Matanza River as one of its top 10 most polluted places in the world, noting that approximately 15,000 industries continue to dump waste into the Matanza, and that because of pollution, “About 60% of the 20,000 people who reside near the river basin live in territory that has been deemed unsuitable for human habitation…”

Sign this petition to demand that Argentina’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development act now to end dumping in this important waterway.


Dear Minister Bregman,

Please demand that industries and businesses along the Matanza River stop spewing toxic waste into this vital waterway. As of 2013, 15,000 industries continue to dump harmful waste into the Matanza. This includes heavy metals like cadmium and lead, as well as animal-based waste from slaughterhouses and tanneries.

This continued dumping has caused large portions of the Matanza’s river basin to become unsuitable for human habitation, and millions of people continue to live in these poisonous conditions.

Please pressure your government to halt the pollution of the Matanza River immediately.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Niels Bjerg

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  2. Lisa Zarafonetis says:

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  3. Where is intelligence?

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