Colombia’s State’s Council has ordered Bogota to pay damages of $125 million for a landfill that collapsed 15 years ago, according to local media Thursday.
The State Council, which is Colombia’s highest administrative court, ruled that reparations for the Doña Juana landfill collapse be paid for by Bogota’s district government. In September 1997, an avalanche of one million 200 tons of garbage devastated the surrounding area.
According to newspaper El Espectador, the massive landslide of garbage affected around 2,000 locals near the Doña Juana landfill. The landfill avalanche allegedly covered 37 acres of land and blocked and polluted the nearby Tunjuelo River, “causing respiratory affectations, skin infections, allergies, diarrhea and vomiting of the inhabitants in the surrounding areas.”
Alleged mismanagement of the landfill site led to the subsequent inundation of garbage into the surrounding area, exposing toxic and chemical waste such as mercury and lead, reported newspaper El Tiempo.
The District Capital will be given 10 days to pay the money to a designated organization responsible for dispensing reparations to the victims.