The secret ingredient to ensuring human rights

By Salil Shetty

During a visit to Peru last year, I had the honor of meeting Melchora Surco, an indigenous woman from Alto Huancané, a village set amid the Andean mountains, who has been fighting for clean water for her community for years.

At 63, Melchora seemed older because she was worn out — not only by health problems from water that had been contaminated by toxic metals, but also by her struggle to get the Peruvian government to stem pollution in her community’s only source of fresh water.

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