Reporting on the conflict between the mega mining project Conga and the people of Cajamarca, Peru
Despite the official myth of its suspension, the Conga project is still operational.
The Solidarity Committee with Cajamarca, has been following recent statements to the press by the Director of the Yanacocha mining company (a subsidiary of Newmont) and President Ollanta Humala and the announcement on May 27, of a series of decrees, aiming to leave the field open to multinationals for their destructive activities of extracting natural resources, threatening the health and lives of people, the environment and archaeological heritage.
Committee of Solidarity with Cajamarca statement – Paris
In an interview with the newspaper La República 27/05/2013 Javier Velarde Zapater, general manager of the Yanacocha mining, challenging opponents of the Conga project, has announced that his company will not await the outcome of the regional elections of 2014, to continue with the work on Conga project implementation. He also announced that Chailluagón tank will be ready within a week, and the transfer of the waters of the lagoon El Perol will be able to occur within 2-3 weeks.
We recall that this lagoon is a protected emblem by members of the peasant patrols who became guardians of the lagoons since last autumn and this announcement is in total contradiction with the official announcement of the project suspension declared on August 23, 2012 by the Peruvian Prime Minister.
Following the tragic events of Celendín and Bambamarca and murders by the repressive forces of five people (Eleuterio Garcia Rojas, César Medina Aguilar, José Faustino Silva Sánchez, Jambo Joselito Vasquez, Jose Antonio Sanchez Huaman) in the mobilization of the entire population for the defense of water against gold, this fact takes on the appearance of an open declaration of hostilities.
Echoing President Ollanta Humala´s statement of the May 25, in indicating that the Conga project “was advancing” and the brutal questioning of prior consultation law that supposedly protects the rights of indigenous peoples. That law must now be understood “as a tool to ´legitimize´ an investment and not as an ´obstacle´ “, these comments came the same day as the publication of a ´package´ of decrees by the government to facilitate the investments of multinationals.
Indeed, under the new law, access to land for infrastructure should be easier, environmental protection requirements are reduced (Decree 060-2013-PCM), reduction of 100 days of the deadline for the approval of environmental impact assessment and also the protection of the Country’s archaeological heritage is reduced to a minimum (Decree 054-2013-PCM). All these decisions are due to the increasingly intense pressure from multinational extractive industries.
Also announced was the further criminalization of social protest and repression against opponents of the Conga project who continue resisting with dignity. For these reasons the Cajamarca Solidarity Committee (Paris) was outraged by these joint statements between the transnational Yanacocha and the Peruvian government, and reiterates its solidarity with all those who are fighting in Cajamarca and around the country for the definitive cancellation of the project Conga.
It calls upon all citizens, elected officials, French and European, associations and democratic union to express their vehement opposition against the declarations and decisions announced recently, for the protection of water against gold, natural resources, health and life, to respect the decision of the people who voted 78% against the implementation of this project, for the right of peoples to determine their development strategies and future, in memory of the five lost on the tragic day, July 3, 2012 in Celendín and Bambamarca, in the fight against the devastating Conga project.
CONGA NO VA NI AHORA NI NUNCA