Reporting on the conflict between the mega mining project Conga and the people of Cajamarca, Peru
International call, imposition of Conga mining project by blood and by fire
(see original call in spanish on Celendin Libre here)
Last Friday, 20th September, workers and security guards of the Yanacocha mining company entered and violently destroyed the camps of the Guardians of the Lagoons where they stole food, pots, blankets and burned straw mattresses.
Yesterday morning, 24th September, more than 500 villagers came to the Mamacocha camp of the Guardians of the Lagoons to examine the damage caused by the intruders.
With the presence of delegations of people from Hualgayoc-Bambamarca and Celendín the camp of the Guardians of the Lagoons was reestablished. The communities reaffirmed their position of permanent resistance against the Conga mining project, apart of which is the strengthening of the surveillance and protection of the lagoons el Perol and Azul – lagoons that are threatened by the imposition of the mining project by the Government and Yanacocha who wish to extract gold and copper from our Andean lakes and wetlands and deposit 85 000 tonnes of toxic tailings daily for 17 years of exploitation.
That same day, at 11.30pm at night a group of about 10 armed people fired again into the camp of the Guardians of the Lagoons. The police standing nearby the camp did not intervene, demonstrating that they are only at the service of the Yanacocha mining company..
“Last night they attacked our camp with long and short range bullets,” reported Edy Benavides Ruiz, president of the Front for the Defence of the Province of Hualgayoc-Bambamarca . Also environmentalist Marco Arana alerted the public to the possible presence of paramilitary groups with the intention of imposing the Conga mining project through blood and fire. Rocío Silva Santisteban of the National Coordinator of Human Rights, through social network sites called on the government of Ollanta Humala to ensure that the DINOES (special unit of the national police) do not act as security for the mining company, but provide protection to the population.
These acts of intimidation, that are attempts against the life and integrity of the Guardians of the Lagoons, are carried out consistently and have intensified before and after statements by the Minister of Energy and Mines stating that Conga will be implemented at all costs; while Roque Benavides, one of the owners of Yanacocha, requested from the Government a reset date for the mining project, in the framework of the 31 Mining Convention held last week in Arequipa .
La Plataforma Interinstitucional Celendina (PIC) hace una llamado a la opinión pública y a los organismos de Derechos Humanos nacionales e internacionales a interceder ante el Gobierno de Ollanta Humala y la empresa minera Yanacocha, para el cese de la violencia y represión a nuestro pueblo cajamarquino que estamos defendiendo nuestras fuentes de agua que hacen posible la ganadería, la agricultura y el consumo humano de este líquido elemento
The Plataforma Interinstitucional Celendina (PIC) is making a call to the public and the national and international human rights organizations to intercede with the government of Ollanta Humala and the Yanacocha mining company, for the cessation of violence and repression that the people of Cajamarca, as we are defending our water sources that feed our livestock, agriculture and human consumption.
Furthermore, we call on the people to continue their peaceful resistance and not to be provoked by the mining company or the Government, for they seek to pit the people against the people to justify another militarization, as we have suffered in recent years, and by this means to advance with this irrational, predatory mining project seeking to destroy our natural resources .
Milton Sanchez Cubas
Plataforma Interinstitucional Celendina (PIC)